Happy Easter and Passover to one and all. You’d think I’d have bunnies for you today, given the Easter holiday anyway, but nope. I’ve got doughnuts. Lots of doughnuts.
Back at the beginning of the month, I chatted with author-illustrator Laurie Keller over at Kirkus about her new chapter book series about Arnie the Doughnut. The first two books in the series are Bowling Alley Bandit, published last year, and Invasion of the Ufonuts, released in February of this year. These are published by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt and were inspired by Laurie’s beloved 2003 picture book, Arnie the Doughnut. We talked (here) about writing funny books for children, slapstick humor, schools visits, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Today, I follow up with some treats from Laurie. She shares some sketches and, well … she pretty much shows us how she does what she does. And I really appreciate her sharing. It’s fun stuff, and it’s neat to get an inside look at it all.
Without further ado, here’s Laurie …
Laurie: These are the opening two spreads for Bowling Alley Bandit (Book 1) that show Mr. Bing and Arnie laughing about how Mr. Bing tried to eat Arnie in the original picture book.
(Click to enlarge)
I needed a way to show why Arnie wouldn’t be a doughnut-dog all the time in this series (like he turned out to be in the original picture book), so he explains:
(Click to enlarge)
This spread introduces Peezo, Arnie’s new favorite bowling alley friend. He’ll be in each book in the series.
In each book, a famous person makes a cameo appearance a few times. In Bowling Alley Bandit, it’s Albert Einstein.
In Invasion of the Ufonuts, it’s George Washington.
This spread introduces Betsy, Mr. Bing’s new purple bowling ball. Unbeknownst to everyone, she gets stolen, which sets all the trouble in motion.
To create the art for these books, I do line drawings, then scan them into the computer and add textures and the gray values in Photoshop.
The finished illustration:
Sketches of bowling pins and bowling balls used to complete one of the illustrations:
Bowling ball return sketch and pattern I used to do the finished illustration:
I use variations in type size and style to break up longer blocks of text.
These are early sketches while I was trying to get the right “voice” for the story. It takes me a while to get into the groove. (These are all wrong, by the way!)
The first chapter of Invasion of the Ufonuts:
Finally, how to speak UFONUT:
THE ADVENTURES OF ARNIE THE DOUGHNUT: BOWLING ALLEY BANDIT. Copyright © 2013 by Laurie Keller. Published by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, New York.
THE ADVENTURES OF ARNIE THE DOUGHNUT: INVASION OF THE UFONUTS. Copyright © 2014 by Laurie Keller. Published by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, New York.
All images here reproduced by permission of Laurie Keller.
Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.
I’m so glad Laurie visited and gave us a peek into her sketchbooks, too.
Instead of listing seven separate kicks this week, I’m gonna scoot on outta here and eat me some hard-boiled eggs on this sunny day. If anyone is around on this holiday, I hope you’ll share your kicks, though. I’d love to read them.