At eight years since the publication of the book, I will say that it wasn't a mistake. As an author, I come clean. I made the mother say this--she's my character, right? I have stopped writing children's literature. At my age, the genre is too dangerous.
I tore a piece of paper and realized I could turn it into the mouth of an alligator. When I saw that, I decided I could have fun in my studio, playing with smears, smudges, drips, holes and whatever else I could think of.