Have You Seen Steve Light’s Sketchbook?

h1 February 25th, 2014 by jules

Early sketch
(Click to enlarge)

Have You Seen My Dragon? is the latest from author-illustrator Steve Light, who visited 7-Imp for a cyber-breakfast in 2012. The book will hit bookshelves in April (Candlewick Press).

This is the intricately-drawn story of a young boy in New York City, looking for his dragon. As you can see from the cover, he’s inspired by the manhole cover, blowing up steam in the street. Could there be a dragon down there? He’s lost his, after all. He goes searching through the city, yet the dragon is always just around the bend.

Light brings readers elegant pen-and-ink drawings but also, as you can see from some of the final spreads at the bottom of this post, splashes of color. This is also a counting book. (The boy stops for a hot dog, wondering if his dragon got hungry, so we have “2 Hot dogs,” and then the boy wonders if his dragon went downtown on a bus, so we have “3 Buses,” and so on — all the way up to 20.)

There are so many details to pore over here (I have an F&G, but I’m fairly certain the detailed maps opening and closing the book are the endpapers, happy sigh), and Light’s line drawings are utterly beguiling. This is an inviting picture book, offering moments of exploration and discovery. It’s simply beautiful.

Steve’s visiting today to share some sketches, which I love to see. And, as mentioned, there are two final spreads below, as well as the ornately-drawn full cover. You can enlarge each image for seeing in more detail by clicking on it.

I thank Steve for sharing. Enjoy …


Early Cover Sketches
(Click each to enlarge)



From the Sketchbooks …
(Click each to enlarge)



Early Sketches
(Click each to enlarge)



Tools of the Trade
(Click each to enlarge)



Reference Images
(Click each to enlarge)



Some Final Spreads
(Click each to enlarge)


“Or climbed up to get a drink of water. …”
(Click to enlarge)

“Hello! Has a dragon come through here?”
(Click to enlarge)

Full cover
(Click to enlarge)


In the Studio
(Click to enlarge)


* * * * * * *

HAVE YOU SEEN MY DRAGON? Copyright © 2014 by Steve Light. Spreads reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA. All other images used with permission of Steve Light.

21 comments to “Have You Seen Steve Light’s Sketchbook?”

  1. Amazing! And SUCH a brilliant story idea. Can’t wait to read it.

  2. Thanks, Steve and Jules for sharing. So many great images!

  3. This looks soooo good, I cant wait to add it to my bookshelf! I absolutely love Steve’s style, and his story idea is sure to please any kiddo(and adult).

  4. I am a teacher in a preschool on the upper east side of Manhattan and we have all of Steve Light’s books! We are excited to get Have You Seen My Dragon! He is an amazing artist and writer! Thank you for posting his work. It’s really truly remarkable…

  5. What a beautiful and gifted artist!

  6. Wow!! I am so impressed with Steve Light’s work. His style is unique and captivating. I can’t wait to share with my preschool classroom. Thanks for sharing his work 🙂

  7. I am crazy for this book. My colleague had an F&G and I have to say, I am completely smitten with this one.

  8. I have admired Steve Light’s work for quite some time. These sketches are superb! I am such a fan! Thanks for sharing!

  9. These illustrations are incredible! I can’t wait to read another Steve Light book!!

  10. Another amazing storybook by Steve Light—the most dynamic, vivid illustrations! I am so excited to read this incredible story to the children in our preschool class! Bravo, Steve!!

  11. Drop dead wonderful!

  12. Steve is such a talented author and illustrator. All of his work is truly inspiring! The kids in class are captivated by his books. We can’t wait to add Have You Seen My Dragon to our classroom library!

  13. I am a teacher at a nursery school and I have have read Steve Light stories for a while. Every time I read them to the children they are captivated by the illustration! His art work is gorgeous and entertaining! His books read with so much energy and fun! Steve Light has a wonderful imagination and I have all of his books! I am so excited to get his new book “Have you Seen my dragon!” The pictures in this story are outstanding and shows why Steve Light is so talented and creative! “Have you seen my dragon” is sure to be a classic story and fun for everyone!

  14. These are wonderful, creative, and full of life illustrations.
    I am excited to see the next addition to Steve’s wonderful
    Children’s book collection.

  15. Steve Light captures the minds of not just young children, but of adults as well with his well written books and incredible illustrations. Another job well done. Can’t wait to see it in full in just a couple months and have it on my bookshelf!

  16. Thanks for the look into your process. Love the ideas about where dragons could be hiding in the city.

  17. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one! Thanks for the preview!

  18. Love a look into artist’s sketchbooks. This was truly enjoyable.

  19. Wow such incredible sketches!! You are so talented! It’s so fascinating to see a behind the scenes look into the making of the book!I can’t wait to read the book!!!!

  20. […] Steve Light’s sketchbook […]

  21. […] book is a follow-up to last year’s Have You Seen My Dragon? (see this 2014 7-Imp post), and hidden in this book, as a young girl tries to find her monster friend at the […]

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