Hardy Teacher’s Second Children’s Book Highlights What it Means to Be a Twin

Hardy first grade teacher Katherine Picarde enjoys sharing silly childhood memories with her students, so it comes as no surprise that she reached into her own life to find the material for her second children’s book. Ms. Picarde’s experiences growing up with her twin brother Christopher in a loving family that included her parents and older siblings Lauren and Nicholas is the foundation for Twin Time, being published at the end of September. 

Although she wasn’t planning to write a second book, (her first book, The Little Ouch, came out in December 2020), her happy memories of growing up as a twin and the fact that there are few children’s books with twin characters provided the motivation she needed to create Twin Time.  Many of the scenes in the story and illustrations are true. The book describes the real-life shenanigans that take place while growing up in a family of four where two young twins are constantly conspiring against the rest of the family, protective older siblings are learning to be patient with them, and selfless, loving parents are working to create a memorable childhood for all of them.

Writing and publishing a book is hard work, but once Ms. Picarde started on the manuscript she knew she would persevere. The arduous process includes submissions, finding agents, and participating in marketing, design, and sales, but the experience she gained from her first book served her well. Remembering how it feels to hold your book in your hand after it is available, which she describes as “...the coolest, most emotional, incredible, satisfying feeling…” provided additional motivation. 

Ms. Picarde was delighted to collaborate with illustrator Khalima Murzina again, who she describes as “...very talented and very creative.” Their working relationship involves the author pitching the project, the two deciding on a contract, and the sharing of the manuscript which includes “illustration notes” of what the author visualizes for each scene. Since Twin Time is based on her family, Ms. Picarde even shared pictures of herself and her siblings. Ms. Murzina returns character sketches back to the author for her review. Since the illustrator lives in Kazakhstan, all communication was via email, often very early or late in the day. Ms. Picarde says: “Seeing her name pop-up in my inbox with new, beautiful illustrations of what I had once imagined in my mind is one of my favorite feelings–it’s surreal to see your dreams come to fruition in that way.”

A Hardy teacher for nine years, Ms. Picarde often finds it bittersweet to see her students move on. So it has been a special joy to find that her writing career has put her back in touch with some of them. Many of her first-year students, now in high school, have reached out to express their admiration for seeing a former teacher publish a book and to let her know they hope to do the same. Her Hardy colleagues and families provide tremendous support and she has been inspired by her students as she watches them read her first book in class and attend her author-signing events.

Congratulations, Ms. Picarde, on the upcoming release of your second book! Twin Time is available on Amazon and can be pre-ordered until September 29, after which it will then be released for immediate purchase with online distributors and in local bookstores.