Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How to illustrate a successful children's book [VIDEO]

Attention all aspiring children's book illustrators -- here's a tip from our very discerning 22-month-old that will guarantee instant success with the obsessive toddler set!

Include on every single page a tiny, cute critter, utterly unrelated to the story itself, but noticeable enough for toddlers to latch onto the unrelated critter in favor of anything else going on in the story itself.

Maybe this is just Joshua, but in no less than five of his books (all five of which are his current favorites, by the way), the illustrators have included a random little critter which repeats on every spread of the book.  For instance, in the newly-released "Charlie the Ranch Dog," by Ree Drummond (a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman), there's a little chipmunk that sort of acts as Charlie's little sidekick.  I say "sort of," because the chipmunk is never mentioned in the story itself, nor does it actually play a role in moving along the plot.  And yet, there he is, hidden on every page -- and Joshua loves finding him.  He knows where the chipmunk is on every page and will gleefully flip through the book, shouting "munk!  MUNK!" and pointing him out.

And it's not just some newfangled trend, either.  The 20-year-old Helen Oxenbury book "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" has a plucky little dog on every page.  And "Goodnight Moon," the undisputed children's classic, has a little mouse hidden on every full-color spread.  Now, the mouse is mentioned twice in the book, but I still think this counts.

Let's watch as Joshua demonstrates how fun it is to fixate on the little things:

This video is actually a couple weeks old -- Joshua can now rip through the entire book forwards, backwards, and upside down and immediately point out the little "mow! mow!" on each page.  I have to say, I can't wait until he's old enough to read through the "Where's Waldo" books -- I have a hunch that he's going to love those!

1 comment:

Sara Slade said...

a kid in my class has that same shirt. :) love this post!