My Kirkus Q&A with Cece Bell

h1 August 30th, 2019 by jules


Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got a chat with author-illustrator Cece Bell about her new Chick and Brain beginning reader series. The first book, on shelves next week, is called Smell My Foot!, which is a very funny book. Expect howls of laughter from the beginning readers you know.

If you want to read our chat, you can head here.

Below, I have some early sketches from Cece, as well as some final art (and other fun stuff). I thank her for sharing!


Preliminary Images:


Early working title


Early versions
(Click each to enlarge)


Handmade foam letters


Cece: “[This is] an early palette. … I have SUCH an obnoxious habit of
making everything I touch too bright. So, I was trying to tone it down …”


Early color sample


Cece: “I settled quite happily on this other, simpler palette. …”


Cece: “And later, I was feeling the need to revisit some [James] Marshall
(something I do when feeling blue) …”


It must be embedded in my brain. I kept the palette, because why not have a little tribute to the master? I liked pretending that Marshall’s ghost was watching me work and giggling at some of the stuff I would hope he might find funny.”

(Click image to enlarge)


Some Final Art from the Book:




* * * * * * *

CHICK AND BRAIN: SMELL MY FOOT. Copyright © 2019 by Cece Bell. Final art above reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA. All other images reproduced by permission of Cece Bell.



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