Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 29, 2011

Take A Break From Writing by Susan O’Keefe

Susan Heyboer O’Keefe is the author of many children’s books, some of which are still in print, like the board-book One Hungry Monster and the middle-grade novel Death by Eggplant.

A depressing fact: most books have a shelf life. Some are lucky enough to have the expiration date of army-issued, freeze-dried packets that could withstand the Big Bang. Imagine getting royalties on the Bible!

On the other hand—a very sad hand, indeed—some books spoil as easily as milk. Being optimistic, I refer to my own curdled titles as “limited edition.” Which means, Constant Reader, that a copy from the first and only printing of A Bug from Aunt Tillie (just one of my many books that are out of print) is highly collectible, based on the sheer fact that there are so few of them to collect.

But if a book has to go to that great library in the sky, perhaps someone will save it from the shredder and let it be transformed into another kind of art.

Look at these amazing pieces:

1. A ball gown made entirely of illustrations from Golden Books

2. Four biographies sculpted into the subject’s face

3. An artist who uses books as his canvas and sculpture medium

4. A cut-paper artist who sculpts books and transforms them in dark and mysterious ways

5. Another cut-paper artist, one with a decidedly happier approach

6. A sculptor/photographer of book art

Which fate would I choose for Aunt Tillie? Although she (both the book and the character) is in her golden years, her illustrations are in black and white, which eliminates her chances of going to the prom. So I’d say number 5.

I’m really just a girly girl at heart.

Her first adult novel is Frankenstein’s Monster.

Please buy a dozen copies of it so it will stay in print and not be sculpted into a squid.

You can visit Susan at

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Such unique (a few were weird) creativity! I love #5 and 6 the best…especially #5 🙂


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