Blueberry Girl
Blueberry Girl
By Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by Charles Vess
On Sale: 3/10/2009
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A much-loved baby grows into a young woman: blessed, brave, surrounded by all the wonders of the world. What every new parent or parent-to-be dreams of for her child, what every girl dreams of for herself.

Nationally bestselling author Neil Gaiman wrote Blueberry Girl for his friend, musician Tori Amos, who was about to become the mother of a little girl. Here, he and beloved illustrator Charles Vess have created a loving book that celebrates the glory of growing up.


“Keep her from spindles and sleeps at sixteen, let her stay waking and wise.”




A Note From Neil

Hello.

You're probably wondering what kind of book this is.

This is the kind of book that comes about when a friend phones you and says, "I'll be having a baby in a month. Would you write her a poem? A sort of prayer, maybe? We call her the Blueberry. . . ." And you think, Yes, actually. I would.

I wrote the poem. When the baby was born, they stopped calling her the Blueberry and started calling her Natashya, but they pinned up the handwritten Blueberry girl poem beside her bed.

I kept a copy at my house, taped to a filing cabinet. And when friends read it, they said things like "Please, can I have a copy for my friend who is going to be giving birth to a daughter?" and I wound up copying it out for people, over and over.

I wasn't going to let it be published, not ever. It was private, and written for one person, even if I did seem to be spending more and more of my time handwriting or printing out nice copies for mothers-to-be and for babies.

Then artist Charles Vess (whom I had collaborated with on Stardust) read it.

And somehow, it all became simple. I made a few phone calls. We decided to make some donations to some charities. And Charles began to draw, and then to paint, taking the poem as a starting point and then making something universal and beautiful.

On his blog he said, "Taking Neil's lovely poetic meditation on the inherent joys of a mother-daughter relationship and developing a compelling narrative impulse without robbing the poem of its highly symbolic nature was an interesting conceptual journey." Which I think is Charles for "It wasn't easy to make that poem into a picture book.” He did an astonishing job, but I still worried. I stopped worrying the day the assistant editor at HarperChildrens, who was herself pregnant, called me to let me know that she'd got the artwork in, and read it, and then started crying in the office.

It's a book for mothers and for mothers-to-be. It's a book for anyone who has, or is, a daughter. It's a prayer and a poem, and now it's a beautiful book.

I hope you enjoy it. I'm really proud of it. And I hope this means I don't have to copy it out any longer….

Neil

Chapter Excerpt