Dave Coverly: “This idea was one of the earliest I had, before the book was even finished being written, so I spent some time trying to find the perfect page. It was almost impossible not to have a word behind him that wasn’t totally ill-suited to a children’s book; the pages that were okay were also, um, boring. Then there was the whole copyright issue. So I decided simply to make my own page by eliminating boring/redundant words but keeping them all in alphabetical order, which was still a boring headache! I finally found a way to entertain myself—and, hopefully, a few kids—by creating a fake page full of real AND fake definitions. This all has nothing to do with the book, just a fun little surprise if anyone takes the time to read the definitions.”
This morning over at Kirkus, I write about Jeanette Winter’s Henri’s Scissors. That column is here.
Both Dave and Jim are pictured here. (Jim’s the pointy one. Hoo boy, I wonder if Dave just uttered a very inappropriate word. In fact, I’m finding it hard RIGHT NOW to avoid cursing, ’cause I do love a good, creative swear.) Dave says this is the author photo they wanted to use that was nixed by the publisher.
Dave is sharing some art and early sketches from the book today. He works on 90lb Arches, using Rotring Rapidograph technical pens, and he then drops in watercolor. Ditto for the the hand-lettering on the cover, he says.
Let’s get to it. I thank Dave for sharing images today.
(Click each to enlarge)
(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)
“When everybody was off the bus, Michael’s sister said,
‘Michael! That is a very inappropriate word!’”
But you gotta sweat the small stuff in these books! Especially a book ABOUT words.”
THE VERY INAPPROPRIATE WORD. Copyright © 2013 by Jim Tobin. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Dave Coverly. Published by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, New York. All images here used with permission of Dave Coverly.