What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Chuck Groenink

h1 August 2nd, 2019 by jules

“Jim solved it. He didn’t feel even a little bit bad about that.”


Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got two new picture books that pay tribute to unsung heroes.

That is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about Laurel Snyder’s Hungry Jim (Chronicle, September 2019), illustrated by Chuck Groenink. Today, I’ve got some art from the book, and Chuck also visits to share some process images.

* * *


Chuck: [Below are] some sketches from the very first round of sketches. Jim was more of a lion-boy here than a full-fledged lion, turning more beastly as the book went on.






(Click to enlarge)


[These below] are from the second round. Jim is now a lion, straightaway.






[Below is] a rough storyboard for the revisions after the first round. Here the title page shows Jim sleeping in his bed — as a boy still.


(Click to enlarge)


Here is a sketch from the second round:


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Below is a discarded sequence of Jim coming home and transforming back into a boy. This was one of the trickiest parts of the book, deciding what to show and how to get the bear out of him. We decided he shouldn’t turn back into a boy until after he’s blarped out the bear.


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This is one of the many sketches for the jacket, this one a very deliberate homage to Sendak’s Pierre.


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It took me a while to find the right approach for drawing the book. At one point I felt I was going in the wrong direction and tried out something else. I didn’t quite know what to do with it and realised that what I was trying to do was better left to the talents of JooHee Yoon.


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[These below are] just the pencils (and a little paint) for two of the illustrations:


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* * *

Thanks to Chuck for sharing. Here is some final art from the book. …


“From downstairs, Jim could hear his mother calling. ‘Jim! Pancakes for breakfast!’
Jim’s stomach began to growl. She sounded DELICIOUS.”

(Click to enlarge spread and see in its entirety)


“Jim was not sure what to do. On the one hand,
he did
not really want to devour his mother. On the other hand …”
(Click spread to enlarge)


“She was delicious.”


“Jim felt terrible. But he was still hungry.
So Jim jumped out the window and ran away down the street.”

(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


(Click spread to enlarge)


“At last, Jim came to a cliff. He stood on the edge of the cliff. The waves below him looked furious and confused. ‘I know how you feel,’ said Jim. Jim’s stomach began to growl again. ‘Shhh,’ said Jim. ‘Hush up. I’m trying to think.'”
(Click spread to enlarge)


(Click cover to enlarge)


* * * * * * *

HUNGRY JIM. Text copyright © 2019 by Laurel Snyder. Illustrations copyright © 2019 by Chuck Groenink. All preliminary images reproduced by permission of Chuck Groenink. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco.

One comment to “What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Chuck Groenink”

  1. This looks beautiful and beastly! An instant classic. Old and new at the same time. Thanks for the generous narrative and copious sketches.

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