In my last blog post I shared 6 sketches and final illustrations (plus a photo of my cat!)
for my very first children’s book Amanda’s Big Dream , written by author and therapist Judith Matz, LCSW.
This book has been both a labor of love and a deep challenge.
It is now in it’s final stages of preparation before publication!
Since Amanda’s Big Dream has 32 illustrations,
I thought I could share a few more without giving away too many “secrets”!

Amanda’s Big Dream is an engaging story of a girl
 who dreams of a solo in the Spring Ice Show.
When her skating coach makes an offhand comment about her weight,
Amanda loses confidence in her ability to make her dream come true.
Despite reassurances from her parents, her doctor, and her best friend,
Amanda decides to quit skating.
Will Amanda return to the ice? Or has she given up forever?
Come along with Amanda as she realizes the true secret to following her big dream!

Judith Matz has done a phenomenal job of writing a compassionate, fun and inspiring story!
My challenge has been to bring the characters to life:
a loving mom and dad, a compassionate doctor, a supportive friend, and the star of the show:
Amanda, a very determined little girl who rides the emotional roller coaster of
hope, enthusiasm, disappointment, doubt, anger, sadness, bravery and ultimately,
an unshakable belief in herself.

The sketch and illustration below is one of 3 full pages dedicated to the interaction between Amanda and her doctor.
This is a very important scene in the book, both for Amanda, and as a “teachable moment” for our readers.

© Elizabeth Patch, http://elizabethpatch.com

Amanda’s doctor asks her some questions.
Sketch and final illustration from Amanda’s Big Dream.
© Elizabeth Patch, all rights reserved

This next pencil sketch and final illustration shows Amanda with her best friend Christine.
Amanda has just fallen on the ice while practicing a very challenging axel spin.
In the intial sketch, Amanda is angry because she has fallen.
But in the final illustration, I changed her expression to look as if she is almost on the verge of tears.

© Elizabeth Patch, all rights reserved, http://elizabethpatch.com

Amanda’s friend Christine comforts her after Amanda falls on the ice.
Sketch and final illustration from Amanda’s Big Dream.
© Elizabeth Patch, all rights reserved

This next sketch and final illustration show Amanda in the locker room, angry and frustrated,
at the moment she decides to quit skating.
Amanda, like all children, experiences some very strong emotions.
I decided to show her as fierce, strong and defiant, rather than defeated.
I think of her in this scene as a pink and sparkly little super hero!

© Elizabeth Patch, all rights reserved, http://elizabethpatch.com

Amanda quits skating! Sketch and final illustration from Amanda’s Big Dream.
© Elizabeth Patch, all rights reserved

Fortunately for Amanda, she has a supportive and loving family who believe in her.
The sketch and illustration below show a group hug and a high five from everyone, including the cat.
Dad’s flannel shirt was a fun challenge!

© Elizabeth Patch, all rights reserved, http://elizabethpatch.com

Amanda’s family
Sketch and final illustration from Amanda’s Big Dream.
© Elizabeth Patch, all rights reserved


We realize that Amanda’s Big Dreams may start some conversations.

In fact, we hope it does!
Author Judith Matz has written a discussion guide to accompany the book.
We also have created a comprehensive Body Image Resource Page .
Information and resources about healthy eating patterns, eating disorders, developing a positive body image,
as well as links to books and articles on these topics.

Body Image Resources for Parents, teachers and other caregivers http://amandasbigdream.com/body-image-resources/