Ben's Invisible Father

'Ben's Invisible Father' is one of my first projects, one of my most substantial texts, and it's one of my favorite picture books. I began it in the late '80's in black and white, and more recently I started redoing all the pictures in watercolor. The story concerns little Ben, who can't get over the fact that his father suddenly turns invisible one wintery afternoon.

When I was four, I had a nightmare in which my dad vanished while he was bringing home a bowl. I can still remember the details, and I liked the fact that I could use that dream so many years later as the basis of the story.

In the course of the story, Ben grows more and more afraid of the bowl, and its presence creeps into every part of his life - even into his dreams.

Finally, though, Ben conquers his fear at his birthday party by eating some apple sauce out of the dreaded bowl. This act brings his father back, and everything ends happily.

'Ben's Invisible Father' has always meant a great deal to me, and I'm glad that the Red Admiral was equally enthiusiastic. It is the second of my books to be published by that fine house.