Monday, 20 June 2011

Incy Wincy Spider to the Rescue!

Over the past few weeks, in between my other adventures,
I have been beavering away at my new book, the sequel to Baby Goes Baaaaa!, turning my big ideas sheets into proper drawings.

Book two is going to revolve around 'Baby Can...' rather than 'Baby Goes...' showing actions a baby is familiar with. I figured one of the most familiar actions for Baby is putting inappropriate things into its mouth, hence these early ideas for 'Baby can lick':

Without the alphabet to hang this set of illustrations on, I needed an idea to link the images together. I decided that the book would feature all the original characters from Baby Goes Baaaaa!, but I would introduce an additional tiny creature, who could wander through all the pages, interacting with the various animals. 

My first sketches used a little caterpillar, who seems sufficiently cute.

Then I got the idea that he could change into a butterfly half way through the book, which would be fun and make the perfect illustration for 'Baby can point':

I got very excited until I realised that, without getting into drawing the cocoon stage too, illustrating the change would be tricky (my ex-caterpillar looked dead and, when I tried to show him as split skin, disembowelled!) It was all potentially misleading too. Rats (actually, there are no rats in the book...).

Then John came to the rescue by suggesting a spider:

Now, I'm not desperately keen on our 8 legged friends, but having lots of legs makes a spider quite versatile as a character and he can be illustrated down on the ground, or up on any surface, or hanging from a web... 

The spider seems to work across all the images. I've done my best to keep him cute and un-scary, and envisage him in bright red, like a harvest spider, rather than black (yuk).

The roughs have gone really well (with very few tantrums) and are now all drawn. I scanned them in and sent them off to Egmont at the end of last week. Now I just have to hold my breath and wait to see if they like them...


June said...

'That the dead, disembowled caterpillar is really now a butterfly' ...too funny. This transition shows perfectly how ideas grow and often require rethinking.
I like your idea of a replacement spider character. Maybe it will help children appreciate them more. (I am not very fond when they are running up my leg, but I try not to hurt them!)
I hope not too many spiders end up getting licked or hugged as a result - ha ha :o)

Heather said...

so fun to see these sketches! :)