I recently applied for the SCBWI Mentor Program. Part of my application was to submit a one page Artist Statement. As I thought back to my first illustrations, I remembered that I illustrated my book report cover for “Rascal” by Sterling North. It was a pencil drawing on red construction paper of a raccoon in a tire swing. It wasn’t long before my classmates were hiring me to create their covers too. The price, one ice cream bar.
I decided to go back to that time and illustrate the cover again. My plan is to create the cover, three interior spot illustrations and chapter illuminated letters. I’ve listened to the audio book twice and will go borrow the book from the library to get the chapter breaks correct.
By the way, it is a charming story of 1918 America during WWI, the war to end all wars. Even during dark times, kids always seem to find a way to make their lives whole. Sometimes animals and their connections to us are just the thing that keeps us grounded on our planet.
Thumbnail pencil sketches getting to know the animal characters in "Rascal".