Of note (pun intended) is the fact that the cello is never mentioned in the text - we only see it in those charming illustrations. Whose idea was it, I wondered, to include the cello? The author's or the illustrator's?
So I emailed Ms. Frazee, who graciously wrote back within hours. Apparently, I was not the first person with these questions. Linda Urban had previously "interviewed" Ms. Frazee by email and reprinted the conversation, which included this topic, on her blog, Crooked Perfect (full links included below). Ms. Frazee gave exactly the answer I was hoping for: she put the cello in because she thought the mom needed to be defined by something other than her status as a mother alone. And for that, I, for one, am grateful.
Can you think of any other picture books or early chapter books where the mother has a hobby, a passion, an interest besides her children?
Here are the links to the full conversation. The last link is the one that discusses The Seven Silly Eaters specifically, while the others talk more generally about the process of illustrating picture books, including the collaboration with the author and editor and about what makes a book a picture book. I highly recommend the entire series. Enjoy!