Behind the scenes of a mother & daughter's 
 humorous journey in creating new characters, writing, illustrating,
and publishing a children's book. 

Granny Who?

Question: Who on Earth is Granny Rosie?

Answer: The adopted grandmother of the Birthday Triplets 

 

Here's how it all began...

 

In her Amazing Magnificent Magical Adventure Factory, Granny Rosie sits alone on her birthday. When she decides to create a Birthday Party Adventure for herself, everything goes comically wrong. That is until the Birthday Triplets~Candi, Cookie, and Coco dance into her life and stay forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kelly: In each subsequent story or episode, Candi, Cookie and Coco Birthday travel into one of Granny’s magical adventures to find that someone whose birthday has been forgotten. Although the surprise party for the mystery person is the end result, it is the triplets’ journey that is most important.

 

At the end of each story, the girls cuddle with Granny on her soft lap and listen to words of wisdom, as the sisters have faced challenges that carry learning experiences.

 

 

 

 

 

WITCHES NEED NOT APPLY

 

Lynn: I originally designed Granny as a witch called Granny Good-Witch. I love a good thunderstorm and decided to make this the dramatic setting for the triplets’ creation. Tired of the same ole’ bug stew brew, Granny decides to sweeten it up and add cookies, candies, and cocoa to the pot. When lightning strikes, her muddled magic instead creates three girls named Cookie, Candi, and Coco. The sweets are in their stockings, and thus the triplets are named Sweet Stockings. 

 

 

 

 Early Sketch

 Current Granny 

 

 

Kelly: But the name had to go: when Googling, Sweet Stockings, porn sites popped up. Apparently, the term was a favorite in other...markets. We didn't want kids running into this while searching for their favorite characters. Another causality: witches. After speaking to consultants in the entertainment business, we learned witches scare children, so another concept was in order. But that wasn't all- Candi, Cookie, and Coco had brand appeal but what was their essence? What made these girls and their adopted grandmother different? Sigh. Back to the drawing board.

 

 

 GRANNY'S NEW LOOK: OFF TO A STYLIST 

 

Lynn: I placed Granny Good-Witch in the Witness Protection Program with a new identity: multi-cultural with a touch of Thomas Edison, Mary Poppins, and Mrs. Doubtfire. In illustrating, I used my own former Victorian grandmother as a model: old-fashioned but hip. Her interests learned toward cooking, racing pigeons, and playing the stock market. 

 

My former Grandmother Harriet forever hung to sensible dress, which means she wore attire from the 1920’s-even into the 1970’s. Off went Granny Good-Witch’s Goth and on went a purple polkadot dress with a string of pearls. I hunted down Harriet’s black shoes for reference and added some wild colors to Granny's shoes and stockings. 

 

 

 

The inspiration for Granny’s facial characteristics came unexpectedly. While attending a dinner in Northern Michigan, there sat a jolly woman (hardly a granny!) right across from me. 

 

 

 

 

NAUGHTY GRANNY? 

 

Kelly: Granny needed a name. We came up with a list of words that reflected her character. From there, we created some potential names such as: Granny Adventure, Granny Rainbow, Granny Kind, and Granny Twinkle to name a few. Granny Twinkle dropped off the list immediately as we thought that children would most likely pronounce it, tinkle. Before we dove too deep into the legalities of owning and registering a name, we again first turned to a Google Search. The results: 

 

Granny Rainbow: A California psychic. 

 

 

 

Granny Kind

 

 

 

 

Granny Adventure ( in her favorite red bra)

 

 

 

On and on it went. Time to switch directions. Being that Granny is multi-cultural, we searched for names such as Granny Lola & Granny Maria. Little did we did know that they were porn stars. 


Who would have thought that naming a children's character could be so risky? 

 

Granny’s name happened in the most unusual of circumstances. It was my producer friend, Josh, who came to the rescue-unknowingly. While talking with him on the phone outside my apartment, a small black dog shot out of nowhere. As it streaked for the busy street, I dropped the phone and caught the little rascal. The true owner never was found, and thus I adopted a dog made up of two yappy breeds I swore never to have: Pomeranian and a Chihuahua. Josh suggested I name the dog Rosie after a friend he met in the dog park.

 

And thus, after all that, Granny Rosie was named after a dog. 

 

 

 HGTV HOUSE HUNTERS, THE GRANNY EPISODE 

 

Lynn: Since the triplets would soon come to live with Granny Rosie, I needed to design a house. I fell in love with a Victorian house in Lakewood, Ohio., that I felt perfect for Granny because she was old-fashioned and eccentric. 

 

 

 

 

Next, I needed a place for Granny to work. Per my admiration of Thomas Edison, I created Granny to be an inventor. I couldn’t quite picture her with a home-based business, so I designed a magical factory. It was rather intimidating to envision illustrating a factory with clean, bright colors against an angry, lightening-filled sky. Granny must have approved, as she immediately went to work designing magic machines and sparkling pots filled with adventures..where anything is possible. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 TYING IT ALL TOGETHER WITH A BIRTHDAY BOW

 

Kelly: Now, the concept. I remember sitting at my desk when the idea popped into my mind: Maybe the triplets could celebrate birthdays? Who wouldn’t love balloons, parties and cake? Lynn initially dismissed the idea, and thus so did I. A few weeks later, she brought it up. Maybe this could be a possibility, after all. I took it a step further. Wanting to appeal to the hearts and minds of children by teaching empathy, we chose to have Candi, Cookie, and Coco bring magical birthday parties to those whose birthdays were forgotten. We tied in birthdays with Granny’s Adventures, and thus the concept and hook! Time to celebrate! 

 

 

Irrelevant Quote of the Day:  "Even when freshly washed and relieved of all confections, children tend to be sticky." Fran Lebowitz

 

 

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Author, Kelly Tooman with illustrator, Lynn-Tooman Cser

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June 3, 2017

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