Extraordinary Jane by Hannah E. Harrison Book Review

Extraordinary Jane by Hannah E. Harrison
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 6, 2014

Jane is a rather ordinary dog. Extra ordinary. She isn't strong, graceful, or brave like the other members of her family. Is there is a place for a quite ordinary dog in such an extraordinary world though?

Who doesn't love a nice circus story, especially one with cute little dogs? This book reminded me in tone of Sidewalk Circus and is perfect for a younger audience, especially the little ones who don't sit still very long.

I am confused about one thing though and it has nothing to do with the story itself. When I interned at Candlewick Press and even during my Master's program, I was led to believe that getting a book published as an author/illustrator was very difficult. However, looking back over the past few books I have reviewed, there is a large amount that are written and illustrated by the same person. What I was taught was that publishers like to pick their own illustrators and that an author, even if they think they could illustrate the book, should not actually send in any pictures and at most should mention that they are an illustrator. This makes me wonder how these books are being published. Are the illustrators approaching the publishers with book ideas? Are they presenting the manuscript first and then mentioning they can illustrate second? Is there a more organic process that I am not familiar with? Are author/illustrators submitting their materials all at the same time and getting contracts that way? Inquiring minds want to know. I must know. Google search powers activate.