The Story Behind the Story

Our Story is based on true events!

Mary Jane, a.k.a. Baby's mom-person, really did travel to Kenya. She was there for 2 weeks with Micato Safaris ( While initially her interest was in meeting a very special rhinoceros named Morani, she was unaware that she would fall in love with elephants. She had never seen them interact with each other in their world, where they belong.

She really did come home and tell here little cat, Baby, all about her trip. And, she did show her all the pictures she took of the animals. Baby rubbed her leg and purred like crazy. Go ahead and laugh. If you are an animal lover, you are smiling and nodding your head right now. 

One day while walking past the marsh behind her building, Mary Jane looked into the tall green reeds and thought of the elephants in their marsh in Amboseli National Park. She could envision their gray backs and flapping ears showing through the open spaces. Of course, she started laughing and checked to see if anyone else was nearby. Finding she was alone, she kept looking and imagining - and laughing. This scene repeated itself for the next several days. The idea of Baby having a little elephant to play with entered her mind and how fun that would be. But, with Baby here and her friend on the other side of the world... how could that work? We can't tell you the rest ... read and discover for yourself! :)

The birth of a book!

The process of a book coming to life is amazing! In all, it was a 22 month* process from conception to delivery. What began as a funny idea grew into a beautiful full color picture book that tells a story of love and friendship. This was not the initial plan! At first, it seemed that Ruby and Baby would make a nice short story, or a piece for a children's magazine. It was only when Lizzy accepted the offer to "do a few pictures" that the book took on its true life. The gorgeous pictures you see were drawn and hand-painted from ideas and sketches by Mary Jane and from her own photographs of Baby and the many little elephants she met in Kenya. Ruby was first inspired by a 3 month old baby elephant named Bidi. Since the names "Bidi and Baby" were a bit too close in sound and appearance for a story, the name Ruby was chosen for Baby's friend. It is one of Mary Jane's favorite little girl names.

Once the writing and the paintings were completed, the pictures were scanned and the words added. Seeing the printing process as it happened was a real thrill. Being able to converse face to face with the people who handled the printing was invaluable. Every writer dreams of watching their work come off the press. On June 30, 2011, our friends at District Creative Printing handed us a book that we are all very proud of. 

This is just beginning! There are more stories in the works for these 2 friends. We hope you will enjoy following their journey as it progresses. *Check out Ruby and Baby - past - present - and future for more on our story.

May YOUR journey be blessed with love and friendship.

* 22 months is the gestation period for elephants.  We did not know this at the beginning of our journey!  Only weeks before publication was that fact revealed... showing us, once again, that this was something uniquely wonderful and meant to be.