The layout phase is over and the half size dummy is in! It's motivating to see the book take on its physical shape, to be able to turn pages and get a feel for what the book is going to be like!
So- Mike read the book to the boys a few nights ago and Charlie had a lot of questions. He was clearly proud to have "his" book. However, his questions brought up a few things about the book. Because his perspective was fresh, some things that were off were immediately obvious to him. Basically, the question and answer format confused him. And if it confused him, I'm sure it would confuse many other readers and listeners, as well.
This indicates to me that the manuscript needs a little more fine tuning. In retrospect, the editor did bring this same issue up when she reviewed the manuscript. I thought I had fixed the issue but apparently I have not. But I'm confident I will resolve it this time. I think it's a case of treasuring a "good" idea, hanging on to it and forcing it to fit when it clearly does not. As Mike wisely said, maybe that idea is really another book waiting to happen.
So, with a big sigh, I will let go of my good idea (for the moment!) and stick with what's simple and clean and cohesive.
And we move on! Stick around for the full page dummy (that may or may not have the colors).
Thank you for the support.