How Peet Montzingo brought his debut children’s book to life

That sounds incredibly challenging!

Peet: It truly is way more work than we thought. There’s so much more logistical things you have to think about and all these different components. Even with the illustration — the illustrator would make the images and then I’d be like, “Oh, it doesn’t feel right. I’m a perfectionist and my creative bone isn’t tingling right now. Why is that?” And so I have to dissect it.

16 months later… It’s been such a hard process but I’m so happy with the outcome now because it looks exactly how I want it.

How does it feel now that the book is finally coming out?

Peet: The night before the book launched, my co-author Rockwell and I went to Times Square at 11:59 PM to watch the billboard change at exactly midnight. We just collapsed on the ground. And we couldn’t believe it was real, and it was just a really surreal moment.

The next morning when we went back, there was this little boy who was looking at the billboard and he had his sister right next to me. He looked up and goes, “Oh, look, there’s that guy.” They didn’t know I was behind them, so I lean over and I’m like, “Who? Me?” And they look over at me and their brain broke and they just started freaking out. I gave them a book and they were over the moon. It was just a really cool moment.

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