Last week, I finished the final piece of artwork I could for Jungle Grumble. This illustration comes quite early on in the story, where the animals first get into the changing room and begin to experiment. Lion has got fed up with hanging around waiting for them to emerge (it's the spread before this one):
But there was still one spread outstanding, waiting for approval: the final spread of the book. My publisher, Piccadilly Press, has been negotiating the ending with a German publisher, who they signed up for a co-edition, as a result of the Frankfurt Book Fair.
This was my original rough, illustrating Julia Jarman's initial ending (the idea is that, despite his wise words earlier, in his fantasy, Lion is wildly multicoloured):
The hold-up has occurred because the Germans are keen to have something less jokey and more moralistic. Julia has come up with various other endings, but nothing has proved acceptable. In the end, Piccadilly have agreed to keep the illustration element simple, which will allow two different endings to be created, using text changes alone.
This is the image we have now: just the lion in the tree (the text is the UK version, left over from the first idea above, the German text is far more along the lines of 'be thankful for what you have'):
To be honest, I am a little concerned that, by removing the fantasy joke, it could leave our version with a rather limp ending, but hopefully Julia can come up with something clever for the text, to make the UK edition sassy again. Julia is really good at this stuff, so I am casting misgivings to the back of my mind, remaining confident and getting on with the colouring up.