The Power of Serendipity

—Posted by Nat

 

Larry and Friends was born long before I came into the picture. It germinated and flourished in Carla’s mind, coming to life in the form of quirky, eye-catching creatures. I met her when she had already spent hundreds of hours pouring her love into each illustration. Yet something was missing. The voice. The storytelling.

And that’s where I came in.

It was total serendipity: A friend I had made years ago as a journalist was now Carla’s roommate and decided we were a good match. She brought me (reluctantly I must say, since children literature was not my thing at the moment) to their Harlem apartment one sunny Sunday afternoon. Carla eyed me with caution… and slowly started going through her illustrations. She explained the inspiration behind some of the characters and the idea she had to create a book that would not only entertain but also inspire. A book that will bring to life the richness immigration brings to urban landscapes like New York City. A book defined by love, fun and the celebration of cultural differences, instead of age or genre.

I was hooked.

Slowly the stories started coming to life. A format was established and in six months the book was completed. It took us another three years—facing many challenges and entreaties to simplify both texts and illustrations—to end up with the final book in our hands. And the wonderful thing is… we still feel as excited seeing each illustration or reading each text as the first time we created them. Maybe it’s because Igor, Rimshi, Pedro and all the characters are actually the reflection of people we love and have made our life amazing in New York; maybe just because we are still children at heart.

Our only hope is that you enjoy it as much as we do. That you can laugh, love and live with the characters and it even inspires you to share your own life story. Because every life is unique. Every life is amazing.

Thank you for supporting Larry and Friends!