It all started with 2 sheets of cheap copier paper. How was I to know they would become works of art that I would want to keep until the end of time? Days later, my daughter handed me her first completed book. It was titled "If My Mother Were A Panda". It was brilliant (I'm sure I'm not biased at all). Unfortunately, the marker drawings bled through the cheap copier paper and I spent hours scanning and retouching the book in PhotoShop so we could print copies for every friend, relative, and teacher on earth. Hours, I tell you.
At least I learned from my mistake. No more cheap copier paper. I bought a stack of recycled 70# cover from French Paper, but any cover weight paper will do. I also "borrowed" the big long stapler from work. It's mine now and boy has it gotten a workout. "If My Mother Were a Panda" started a huge series of books. The animals kept getting more and more obscure as my daughter worked her way down the list of endangered species "If My Mother Were a Three Toed Sloth"... "If My Mother Were a Leadbeater's Possum"... "If My Mother Were a Hispid Hare"... You get the idea. 16 books later, she decided to end the series.
We haven't retired the stapler, or the good paper though. I always have a blank book on hand for long car trips. What I like about having kids make books is that there is an obvious beginning, middle and end. It sets a goal.
My library of handmade books has grown and I keep it like a miser keeps gold. Hands off. It now includes cookbooks and fictional pieces, some of which she co-writes with her cousin. The non-fiction books are more detailed now with title pages, glossaries and indexes.
As for my little author, she's continues to amaze me. Now she's working on her first novel.