Some “EE-OOO!”s and “Thump! Thump!”s
and “YO! YO! YO!”s Before Bedtime …

h1 November 19th, 2012 by jules


Early sketches from Rabbit’s Snow Dance
(Click to enlarge)

Who has read James & Joseph Bruchac’s Rabbit’s Snow Dance, illustrated by Jeff Newman and released early this month by Dial? Raise your hands, please. If not, may I boldly recommend tonight that you find a copy and experience it? There. I just did.

This picture book, sub-titled A Traditional Iroquois Story, is a read-aloud treat. Telling the story, a traditional Native American fable (ever-so perfect for winter), of why Rabbit’s once long, beautiful tail is now stubby-short, the Bruchacs (father and son, both storytellers) incorporate engaging chants and rhythms into the text (“I will make it snow, AZIKANAPO! I will make it snow, AZIKANAPO!” and “EE-OOO! Thump! Thump! EE-OOO! Thump! Thump! YO, YO, YO! YO, YO, YO!”), daring you not to tap your foot as you read. I don’t want to give away the story here, but there’s a lot of humor here, especially given our protagonist’s excessive pride.

The artwork here is by Jeff Newman, who visited for breakfast in 2010. I always like to see what Newman is up to. There are some final spreads at the bottom of this post, as well as some sketches, storyboards, and dummy images, so you can get a good sense of Newman’s style with this one. Check this out, too, something I wish so super bad I’d written: The Publishers Weekly review of Rabbit’s Snow Dance wrote, “Newman’s influences are comparatively modern—think Mary Blair with a touch of Hanna-Barbera.” Right? RIGHT. That fits. That works. It totally and entirely does. You can see this below in the images he shares.

[Note: As for the three different storyboard versions below, Jeff writes: "... Storyboards 2 and 3 are evolutions of the same approach, which ended up in the final book. However, the first storyboard shows an entirely different version of the book, which would have essentially been the same scene repeated throughout the book. So, rather than the scene changing, we'd see the animals moving over the landscape, and how the weather changes it."]

Enjoy the art, and I thank Jeff for sharing today.


 

Sketches


 


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Storyboards


 



“The ‘Theatre’ Approach”
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“First Pass/The Variety Approach (i.e. The Lush Approach)”
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Another storyboard
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Dummy Images


 



(Click either image to enlarge and see spread in its entirety)



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Some Final Art


 


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“Rabbit slept all night. Even when dawn came, he kept on sleeping. Now the summer sun began to shine. All of that snow began to melt. It melted down below the tops of the trees. It melted down below the middle of the trees. It melted down
below the bushes. It melted down below the grass.”

(Click to enlarge spread)



(Click either image to enlarge and see spread in its entirety)

* * * * * * *

RABBIT’S SNOW DANCE. Text copyright © 2012 by James & Joseph Bruchac. Illustrations copyright © 2012 by Jeff Newman. Published by Dial, New York. All images posted with permission of Jeff Newman.





6 comments to “Some “EE-OOO!”s and “Thump! Thump!”s
and “YO! YO! YO!”s Before Bedtime …”

  1. Bunnies!
    Lynx!
    Otter!

    I love seeing the process, from sketches to final prints. Thank you, as always/


  2. Oh, my dancing rabbits, Jules. I reviewed this book last week on my blog. Can I add a link to this? I mean this display is totally amazing. I’m nearly speechless with joy. I also booktalked it and read parts to my adult book club tonight. I just want to reach out and touch these.


  3. Jules, I know I’ve told you this a million times…but I love, Love, LOVE it when you post the artist sketches and rough thought processes. It is so wonderful to see and I love this post.


  4. Oh, my pleasure. And I thank the artists who share them so generously.

    Margie, of course, link away. We gotta do our part to spread the picture book goodness, right?


  5. I can’t wait to get my hands on this jewel!


  6. Catching up on blogs from thanksgiving break:) really enjoyed the thought processes here. Great post Jules!


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