Well, another bit of news has just come in, about one of the books that I am currently working on (a dinosaur flap book, by Tony Mitton). I finished the coloured artwork in the early summer. It was going to be called Dippy Diplodocus and the cover was going to look like this:
But everything has changed! The publisher, Kingfisher, has decided to publish it as two books instead of squeezing it all into one, and the new title is going to be Gnash, Gnaw, Dinosaur! which I think is much more punchy. This is so that the 2nd book can be called Rumble, Roar, Dinosaur! to make a nice pair. I am going to have to do a little bit more artwork, but not much. This is the new cover:
It was great fun to illustrate. Each page features a different dinosaur, bumbling about and doing whatever dinosaurs do to pass the time, but when you lift the flap, they spring into action (which usually means trying to eat something or someone!). The T.Rex page has 2 flaps, each the size of the full page, so it opens out into an enormous picture. Should be perfect for boys, and great for the Boys Into Books campaign.
It was especially interesting to draw, because the dinosaurs had to be very accurate. I was sent lots of reference by Kingfisher, and even given my very own dinosaur specialist to confer with! He checked over all the roughs and helped me to tweek them, so they were just right. The challenge was trying to turn them into fun, picture-book characters, without losing the accuracy.
One very interesting thing happened at the rough stage, with the Deinonychus drawings. When Dinosaur Man saw them, he said: 'Ah, sorry about this, bit of a problem. The reference I sent has just gone out of date: we have dug something else up.' Turns out, they had it all wrong and the Deinonychus now has feathers and a sort of toothy beak! This is how experts thought it looked originally:
And below is what I had to change it to. Typical that it had to be the page where there were a whole gang of them to re-draw (what is the collective noun for dinosaurs, I wonder?). This is just the ones under the flap - there was a whole extra image on the main page! Worth it though, as they are much funnier in their new feathers.
Gnash, Gnaw, Dinosaur! is due out in June 2009. It's always such a long wait!