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Snippet Sunday

I finally got pictures* before the sun went down, so for once, you will get a true snippet.  I have been hemming and hawing over what age range I intend this for and have still to make up my mind 100%. That decision is of supreme importance, as I'm sure you can imagine. Artwork and text hinge on the target audience.

Since this is a non-fiction concept book, I have to nail the reveal (the conceit is that the kid is asked to imagine something strange-sounding and then discovers the "real" thing). The only way my brain has thought of doing that so far is with flaps. Flaps are for younger kids, as far as I can tell. And I don't know if, say, 8 yr olds have books that operate on the "lift the flap" premise. I need to go to a bookstore.** (One picture book age division is 4-8, but while I can see 4yr olds being read "older" kid books, I don't know that the 8 yr old would have the same patience with a book geared more toward the younger end of the spectrum.)

Anyhow, here is the beginning of a storyboard, with the flap idea in place. I know it is hard to see; I was doing it with pencil and the point is to go light on detail.*** Storyboarding is a very cool tool. It has really helped me think about movement and dynamic images/presentation. Certain ideas crystalized for me by laying out my pages, and the places where I still need to do some work stick out:

And while I try to figure everything out, I've been drawing corals and such:


* The sun was on its way down, so I was holding my sketchpad up to the light, hence the fuzziness. I might promise to do better in the future by getting my rear in gear ealier, but I don't want to fail to keep a promise. :P

** And maybe find some childrens' book writers'/illustrators' blogs to follow. Not now, though. I decided to limit net time to 30 min/day during Lent.

***Another important thing to sketch in is the values, which I haven't done much of either on most of the thumbnails.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 22nd, 2015 05:11 pm (UTC)
I love your sketches of the corals and other wonders that will be revealed.

I do think that flaps are generally a signal of much younger readers--definitely more the four-year-old than the eight-year-old. Not that an eight-year-old couldn't enjoy a book like that (I think kids enjoy books for so-called younger readers all the time), but I don't know if a publisher would do this type of a concept for older children. It might be worth a try anyway, but what I was thinking was, could you simply have the reveal on the next page?

Or, one way to maybe get around the fact that flaps seem geared toward younger readers could be to do the reveal flap not as a flap but as a sort-of venetian-blind-style pop up, where you pull a tab and the louvers turn over, revealing the new picture. Pop-up books, requiring more care in use, can be for older readers. (We had beautiful fairy-tale pop-up books when I was a kid that were definitely more 6-10 rather than under 6 in age focus.)

Edited at 2015-02-22 05:11 pm (UTC)
Feb. 22nd, 2015 07:54 pm (UTC)
I had thought of a next-page reveal, too, but I think the rhythm would not be as well served that way. I know what you mean about the pop-up type thing with tabs. I had considered that, too, but didn't know how to "design" it. As J said, though, that wouldn't be my job. :P So I guess I could go with the "reveal" image in the excerpted box like I'm doing and the publisher would figure out the final layout.
Feb. 22nd, 2015 06:17 pm (UTC)
Your drawings are those of a naturalist.
Feb. 22nd, 2015 07:59 pm (UTC)
:D Funny you should say that. I've been meaning to make a post about me being a naturalist...
Feb. 22nd, 2015 06:59 pm (UTC)
Lovely! Not what I had imagined at all. :p

As for the flap thing. I've read an adult book with flaps, so I think it really depends on context and what age-group you're addressing.
Feb. 22nd, 2015 08:03 pm (UTC)
*nods* As J keeps telling me, I need to convey what the reveal is but rely on the publisher to help me present it the best way. I just want it clear in my own head first. Do I stay very simple, or can I get a bit more detailed (relay more/complex info)? Decisions, decisions.

Something I may do is go ahead and do all the research and see what facts I end up with. Then I'll decide whether or not it merits being for older kids. Again, this will be up to my discretion and which slant I want to take, but it may, like the storyboard, crystalize matters for me. :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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