A Children's Book
the illustrator of the book, discusses the project:
of 2003 I was asked by Garth Battista, publisher of Breakaway
Books, if I'd like to illustrate a children's book. I've
never worked on a project that required so many paintings, 29 in
fact, so I hesitated a second before saying yes.
sold me on the project was that the story centered on a 6 year old
boy and a 5 year old girl, and I just happen to have grandchildren
those ages. I thought it would be fun to have them as models for
story was written by Dulcibella Blackett and involves two kids who
have a dad who runs, and one day their dad has to run to the rescue.
In all my years of running, I always thought it would be cool if
one day my running would come in handy in some emergency situation,
saving the day in some dramatic way.
has brought that scenario to life with an entertaining story of
a dedicated runner who finds the only way to rescue someone is to
run miles for help, and he is just the one to do it!
found that planning the illustrations was like imagining a movie
scene by scene, and the story was my script. I looked for ways to
portray the story in a realistic manner, but with a good deal of
variety, since most pages would show dad running.
the painting to the right, which shows dad training in the mountains,
I wanted to show the scale of a mountainous landscape but with a
runner moving through it.
be sure you wouldn't miss the runner in the picture I left the area
around him pure white, to your draw attention.
of the book describes dad running through the different seasons.
To make it more interesting for kids, I tried to add animals to
scenes, so there would something unexpected to find. I managed to
include raccoons, geese, a deer, a rabbit and more throughout the
the painting to the right dad has to jump a stream on his way to
get help. For fun a bullfrog and a squirrel are hidden in this scene.
was important in telling the story with my pictures. On the day
of the rescue, the clothes and details are correct for all the images
for that day, down to the hand where dad wears his watch, and the
color of his sneakers.
the paintings were done in watercolor, which will give the book
a lushly illustrated feel. I spent many hours putting as much into
the paintings as I could. I hope kids enjoy it, I know my grandchildren
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