Work in Progress

Orange-PylonThis pylon is going to be here for a long time, because I’ve only just started working on my first children’s book. Did you know that? I suppose I should have made some formal kind of announcement.

ANNOUNCEMENT: I’ve written a children’s book that’s going to be published by Christy Ottaviano Books, an imprint of Henry Holt, some time in 2015.

So yeah, that’s out of the way. I’m illustrating it, too, and I couldn’t be more excited to be doing it. It’s been fun working with Christy so far, even though we’re still in the early stages of nailing down the final product (Christy said “cartoonists are usually good with deadlines,” but I’m wondering if that’s an observation that’s not shared by all in the industry). It doesn’t sound like a huge step up – it’s a 32-page picture book – but it’s definitely a major transition from small black-and-white spot drawings to full pages in color. And at the end of the book the reader can’t say “I don’t get it,” like some people do when they read my cartoons… come on, nobody does that, do they?

I don’t want to say what the book is about, but I wanted to show a teaser of the first part of the process: writing, editing, sketching, rough layouts. There’s also a fair amount of coffee built into each step, but you already know what that looks like.

photo 1Even within the framework of a standard picture book, there are different layout options that are available, depending on what you want to do with the story. You can’t just add or subtract a few pages at the end. So that’s the first step. These pieces of paper are index-card sized, by the way. The floor space looks bigger than it actually is in real life, which is about 4 inches. So this picture is basically to scale.

photo 3

photo 2

Those are drawings on transparencies that happened to be on top of each other, not a drawing of a camel coming out of a basketball player’s hip. But now I have an idea for another book.


Cat_in_the_HatOops! That’s a picture from somebody else’s children’s book. Like I said, it’s a fairly new process for me.


You may recognize this as a staple element of every thrilling book you ever read as a kid: laundry! Or maybe we read different books.


photo 5

Yes, That’s what you think it is.



Sorry, that’s a picture from still another thing. The place is a mess here. I should have it sorted out soon. More later.



Filed under Children's book

3 responses to “Work in Progress

  1. A puppy peeing on what might be a huge doughnut, a camel, laundry-I’m already engaged in the story and it’s characters.

  2. Heather Pollard

    Love it! (Whatever “it” becomes…)

  3. Pingback: Three, Two, One…Three! | Words, Pictures, Humor

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