Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Jennifer Coleman, who just signed a deal for her second picture book, Come ‘N Git It!: Cookie and His Cowboy Chuckwagon’s Day on the Trail! The book will be illustrated by Julie Dupre Buckner.
The picture book weaves together fact and fiction into a story about a chuckwagon cook in 19th-century Texas. As Jennifer writes, “I grew up in West Texas and my grandparents had a dairy farm, so I always have liked cattle. When I was thinking about developing a historical fiction piece about cows, I started by researching Charles Goodnight, whose Goodnight Ranch Visitor Center is just a few hours north of my hometown. I went out there to research and thought I was going to do a cattle baron biography. I had amassed so much research, I didn’t know what to do next! Then a few months later, I was watching The Food Truck Race reality competition on The Food Network (my daughter was a Chopped Junior Champion a few years ago, so we watch a LOT of food TV!), and I realized Charles Goodnight invented the first food truck—he needed a way to feed his cowboys when he developed a cattle drive in the 1860s! I decided to write a fictional story about a chuckwagon cook, and then have the illustrator place my researched information about the Goodnight-Loving cattle drive in the borders.”
Jennifer had the unusual opportunity to work directly with the illustrator, Julie Dupre Buckner, to bring this vision to life. “I know typically an author and illustrator do not get much of a chance to speak, if any,” Jennifer says, “but our publisher put us in touch so we could collaborate on some of the details. What a privilege to develop the story of this time in history; I feel very honored!”
Come ‘N Git It! is set to be released by Pelican Publishing in the fall of 2021.