Morgan the Ox is a tale about giving your all and losing graciously. Written in rhyme by Seth Ode with action-packed illustrations drawn by Leah Kiser, this story captivates readers ages two to ten, especially those with a competitive spirit.
The publication of the story was made possible by many awesome backers who pre purchased copies of the book on Kickstarter.com (thanks so much to all of you).
Several years ago, Leah was talking with her brother, Seth over the phone and lamented that she had always wanted to illustrate a children's book, but did not want to write one. Seth got to work writing a few stories for Leah to consider. He gave her the manuscript in 2008 and the energy of the story made images appear in her mind right away. She was, however unable to get started due to a new baby and new job. In 2012, she decided it was time to get started, so each night after returning home from work and putting her children to bed, she spent a few hours working on the illustrations until they were done.
Leah completed the illustrations in March of 2013. She then sent it to publishing houses and potential agents. The response she kept getting was that rhyming stories are extremely hard to get published. So, in 2015 Leah launched a kickstarter project to raise the money needed for independent publication. As mentioned previously, the campaign was successful!
The manuscript was edited by Marlo Garnsworthy, printed by print Ninja, and ready for distribution in September 2015.
Morgan the Ox was a precursor for Leah Kiser's later imaginative work (see photo gallery). She began her dinosaur ballerina series immediately after she finished the first draft of the book. Her daughter, Camille gave her the inspiration by putting a barbie tutu on one of her dinosaur toys. Leah loved the combination and used it to help her begin painting large scale oils on canvas. See the photo gallery to see where that idea went. Also, if you look closely on the dedication page of Morgan the Ox, you will see Harry the Cockatoo reading a newspaper article about Morgan the Ox. On the adjacent page, you will see a headline about a dinosaur ballet above a picture of "Yellow" from the Dance Series.
Seth and Leah hope to publish more books together in the future.