Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cover Sketches

One of the most difficult parts of doing Little Panda was the cover. The process was much more involved than any other single drawing in the book. But for good reason, it's the most important image and needs to stand out on the book shelf. These are some of the thumbnail sketches I did for the cover. Mostly focused on basics such as composition and story telling. If you click on the images for a closer look you will see them at about the size they are done in my sketchbook.

Also, here is another review for the book. It's fun to read what others say about your work, especially when they are positive!

SPOILER ALERT: This review gives away the ending and most of the plot.
November 2008

LIWSKA, Renata. Little Panda. illus. by author. unpaged. CIP. Houghton. 2008. Tr $12.95. ISBN 978-0-618-96627-1. LC 2007047735.
PreS-Gr 1–Grandfather Panda informs his grandson, “I’m going to tell you a story of a little panda and the tiger that flew.” Though the youngster thinks the idea is laughable, Grandfather introduces Bao Bao, a panda who lived with his mother and spent his time climbing trees, playing chase, and falling down. However, “Playing was not just for fun. It was also the way Lin Lin taught Bao Bao important panda lessons.” While his mother traveled off to search for food (the illustration amusingly shows Lin Lin riding through a river setting in a passenger boat poled by a human), Bao Bao often napped in his favorite tree. One day, a hungry tiger climbed up Bao Bao’s branch, and the panda escaped by falling down, causing the branch to snap up and send the predator flying. He doesn’t understand why his returning mother saw an airborne tiger: “That’s silly. Tigers can’t fly!” After Grandfather finishes, his grandson admits that maybe the story could be true. There are many playful elements to this tale of family storytelling, and Liwska’s mélange of the fanciful and the real is well crafted in the smooth telling and artwork. Deftly drawn and softly colored, the animals are both comic and endearing. Grandfather, who wears a small pointed cap, is the only creature with human trappings. An inviting choice for read-aloud sharing.–Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston

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