First-time Ann Arbor children’s book author Sheila Pursglove found her dream illustrator through a blind ad on Craigslist. “I’m your man,” confidently asserted bily charley (he doesn’t capitalize his names). Heretofore best known for his volunteer activities (Food Gatherers, the Ark) and for the fantastical tattoos all over his body, charley had illustrated graphic novels and T-shirts but never a book. Still, Pursglove—and publishers Steve and Shira Klein—preferred his big-eyed, saucy mouse over what a company press release calls the more somber “traditional Beatrix Potter–

style image” most artists submitted. So charley, who also manages the Sunday Artisan Market, is now a published illustrator as well—in October the Kleins’ Huron River Press published Pursglove’s The Mouse Ate the House, with illustrations by bily charley.

After drawing Merriweather Matthew Mouse eating his way though a Christmas gingerbread house, charley was emboldened to begin writing and illustrating a children’s book of his own. He also helped to design a Merriweather Mouse costume—

a costumed, adult-size Merriweather will be attending Pursglove’s book signings this holiday season.