Big Bad Bubble Before Breakfast

h1 May 20th, 2014 by jules

Character study
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Final art: “It reappears in La La Land …
where the monsters live.”

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Here’s a post for illustration lovers: Illustrator Daniel Salmieri is visiting to share some character sketches and dummy sketches (and final art) from Big Bad Bubble (Clarion, May 2014), the newest picture book from him and author Adam Rubin. Remember Dragons Love Tacos (2012), which I posted about here? That was a Rubin-Salmieri collaboration (and there have been others), which I still think is one of the funniest picture books you’ll ever read. Rubin and Salmieri have a distinctive sense of humor, and I was going to say something sweeping about how glad I am that they make picture books today, when I just read this from Publishers Weekly: “Rubin and Salmieri are two of the weirdest, funniest guys working in kids’ lit today.” Yep. That. I agree.

Big Bad Bubble is about the monsters of La La Land, where bubbles go when they pop. Turns out the monsters—Yerburt, Froofle, Wumpus, and Mogo Pogo—are scared of bubbles. But the narrator talks them through it, reminding them there’s no reason to be afraid. They do, after all, have fangs and claws and such. Isn’t it nice to know that monsters have seemingly ridiculous fears, like us puny humans?

Salmieri tells me that the finished paintings were collaged. “Here’s a photo of the monsters after I cut them out,” he adds, “but before I colored and pasted them”:

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Here’s the rest of the sketches and art. Enjoy!


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Cover and Title Page Sketches:


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Some Book Dummy Sketches:



Some Final Art (Without Text):


“For some reason, all the big, scary monsters are terrified of bubbles.
Yerburt, what’s the matter?
Froofle, why are you running away?
Wumpus, stop crying.

(Tell Wumpus to stop crying.)”
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“Bubbles are sneaky. You never hear them coming. Where there’s one bubble, there are many bubbles. They travel in packs. Summer is the worst time for bubbles.
That’s when they go into a feeding frenzy.
Don’t listen to Mogo. He has no idea what he’s talking about.”
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“Yerburt, use your fangs. …”
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See? Mogo doesn’t know what he’s talking about. There’s no reason to be afraid.”

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BIG BAD BUBBLE. Copyright © 2014 by Adam Rubin. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Daniel Salmieri. Published by Clarion Books, Boston. All images reproduced by permission of Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri.

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