Sketchbook Stories :: Bethanie Murguia


I’m lucky enough to be in a children’s book critique group with Bethanie Murguia. Just in case you were wondering, she pronounces her last name mer GEE ya (with a hard “G” as in “glee”), and there just happens to be small town in Spanish Basque country named Murguia, how incredibly charming is that?

Bethanie is a Bay Area writer, illustrator and mom. In her past life she was a art director and graphic designer. Silks that have come in handy when she’s lays out a book and is visualizing what it will look like. One little trick that she has shared, is that she likes to work back and forth between words and images when she is developing and idea. If she gets stuck with the writing then she’ll switch to figuring it out visually. And vice versa. Bethanie draws her inspiration from her family and the small moments that remind her what it means to be a child. She has created illustrations for toy packaging and various children’s publications, including Ladybug and My Big Backyard (National Wildlife Federation). She loves all things mint and chocolate, especially all things mint chocolate and has a nickname for almost everything. 


Here is Bethanie’s Sketchbook Story ::


BM: The inspiration is as much about the idea as about the visual…I thought it might need some explaining?



BM: I suppose it’s not surprising that I wrote a book about sleep at the point in my life when I was getting the least. I was a slightly delirious, sleep-deprived Mama with a newborn and feisty 3-year old when my friend asked me to take a writing workshop. I was too tired to say no.



BM: As I started to mull over story ideas. I was struck by the contrast between my swaddled newborn who slept so calmly, so neatly and my 3-year old who thrashed from one end of her bed to the other every night. I began to suspect that my 3-year old was having BIG dreams.




BM: And the story of Buglette was born.



BM: Buglette the Messy Sleeper will be available in May 2011 by Tricycle Press/Random House Children’s Books.

Buglette is a tidy little bug, except when she’s asleep. Her quirky sleeping habits annoy her family until her big dreams save the day (or night, as the case may be). This tiny heroine is a spirited and imaginative character. Whimsical illustrations bring the details of young Buglette’s world to life in this simple and original tale about messy sleeping.


And Here’s where you can find Bethanie ::

website ::
     blog ::

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