Happy Friday! The weekend is almost here, and I just received copies of a book I was hired to illustrate a couple pages in earlier this year (Yaaaay). It’s a book of poetry for Kindergardeners titled All Together Now by Scholastic Canada. I was assigned to illustrate two poems, the first about thunderstorms, and the second about a frog that wasn’t so pleased about the weather. The book is part of the Literacy Place for the Early Years Extension Pack for Kindergarden (available now btw.)
It is always exciting seeing your work in the final printed copy. It’s like Christmas every time. For me it also reminds me of some of the things that inspired me to become an illustrator as a kid. It’s probably not a surprise that my favourite stories were often the ones with bright illustrations. The drawings captured my imagination and brought the stories to life for me, but they also made me interested in learning how the pictures in the book were made.
Now as an illustrator I have been lucky enough to hear about my own work inspiring others. This is really my wife’s story, she is a primary school teacher and for the story we’ll call her Mrs. Pickledog. One year the boys in Mrs. Pickledog’s class believed that drawing was something only girls were good at, and boys just can’t draw. Like all great teachers Mrs. Pickledog subscribed to children’s magazines for her classroom, and coincidentally I had illustrated a short story in one of the magazines this particular month. The boys were also huge hockey fans and the story happened to be about a missing hockey stick.
One day Mrs. Pickledog heard the boys discussing all their reasons why “boys can’t draw” so she showed them the story about the missing hockey stick and said, “Mr. Pickledog drew the pictures in this story, he is a boy* and he can draw.” The boys discussion quickly switched to questions about how does Mr. Pickledog draw the pictures, and if they could borrow the magazine to read.
The boys in her class didn’t all decide to be illustrators when they grow up, but they did reconsider what they had excepted as fact before, and maybe boys can draw after all. Even better, all of the boys read the story of the missing hockey stick, which is what it’s really all about.
Have a great weekend everyone :-)
* It’s true I am very much a boy at heart.