About the Book
"J is for Jackalope" is a grand adventure of a young boy named Samuel CB who lives with his family on a working cattle ranch in the West. Samuel has grown up working amid the ranch hands, riding horses, roping and developing the strong spirit that prompts him to new challenges. The beautifully illustrated storyline chronicles a turning point in Samuel's life. Bored with the chores and limitations of boyhood, Samuel is craving more. After hearing stories of the fabled Jackalope living in nearby mountains, he sets out in search of a new endeavor and in the end also finds a great friend.
The story of Samuel CB has been a labor of love for the author over a span of several years, fueled by personal life experiences. Blake's first childhood memories involve helping with family ranch operations and work on surrounding ranches near his home in Montana. His father, Buckeye Blake is a known western artist and sparked Teal's initial desire to pursue the dual role of cowboy and artist.
Teal began painting professionally in 2005, and in 2014 was invited to be a member of the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America (CAA). He has since been honored with several national art awards, including the Joe Beeler CAA Foundation Award and gold and silver medals at the CAA Annual Art Show and Sale, along with several others.
While his art career continues to evolve, ranch work also remains a staple of daily life. He has had the privilege of working on some of the most historic ranches in the United States, along with fostering an operation of his own in North Texas.
Community with fellow cowboys during brandings or around campfires and other social gatherings is an element of cowboy work very much endeared to Teal. Stories of legendary cowboys and western folklore about fabled critters are part of this fabric, and since he was a young boy, Teal has been partial to the stories of the jackalope. After his son, Luca was born, he began sharing those same stories familiar to his childhood and eventually began putting the ideas to paper. The concept of "J is for Jackalope" stems from those stories and the author's desire to share them.
Blake began reading the books of classic western artists such as Will James, Zane Gray, and Charlie Russell, at a young age. He has worked to convey the same language, spirit and feel of those influential authors who expressed the American West with personal authority. "J is for Jackalope" features true cowboy slang, reminiscent of the dialect found in a Will James book. The result is a unique chronicle of the West, accompanied with beautiful original artwork depicting authentic ranch life.
- 12 x 9 landscape, case bound (hard cover), four-color books will make up the majority of availability
- A limited number of case bound, linen books with paper dust jackets will also be available
- Page Count - 36 pages plus two glossary pages
- Features original watercolors by Teal Blake
- Self published, fulfillment by 7Sundays Art & Print
Risks and challenges
Breaking into the children's book market as a new author is tough. Trying to do that and still convey an authentic piece of art, which I feel this book is, is really tough. My goal for this project from the beginning has been to not only produce an entertaining, beautifully illustrated book that children will be drawn to, but also capture the real life characteristics of the cowboy.
I have worked to include details in the artwork that will be recognized by those fortunate enough to live this way of life and appreciated by those who don't. In order for the language to remain "uncorrected" and the images realistic, I had to maintain complete artistic license. With support from this program, I can do these things and have a unique story that represents true ranching heritage to be cherished by generations to come.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)