Sunday, November 23, 2008

childrens books

Way back I started thinking about doing a book for Sam but family health issues ate up my time and it got put on a back burner.
Are these images easily enought read by a small child do you think? I quite like the freshness of the original scribbly sketched ideas and played with adding colour on the computer in glazes.
all images copyright Vivien Blackburn











what do you think?












16 comments:

laura said...

Love them, Vivienne. I especially love the one of the little boy behind, reaching over the bed ... And I like repeated "little boy reaching" image--it says so much about childhood, that gesture!

Shirley Anne Sherris said...

Hi
I think you should write some books and approach a publisher. These illustrations are fabulous.
Cheers

Ann said...

I think they are delightful! And my daughter (age 10) gives them the thumbs up. She said they would be good for a little kid's book :)

Robyn said...

Gorgeous!

IMHO childrens' books, like fine wine, get better with age. If the images are too complicated for Sam today, they certainly won't be in a year or so. Once he's been held on a loving lap and had his own special story book read to him umpteen times it will mean far more than the sum of the pictures and words.

Beautiful idea, Vivien. I particularly love the drawing of his Nanna.

Julie said...

These images look great to me. The linework is lively and there's not too much detail to confuse a very young child. I'm assuming these particular illustrations have motifs that are familiar to Sam so they are even more readily understandable. Would your final book have text too?

my croft said...

The big questions in writing/illustrating for children are: how old is the child and how sophisticated is her/his perception?

Many children's books are quite complex visually -- "Where's Waldo?" comes immediately to mind (are you familiar with that one? It was quite a sensation here [in the U.S.] not that long ago), but also some of Jackie Morris's work http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/now.htm
and also Knufflebunny by Mo Willlems (mixes photos and drawing)http://www.amazon.com/Knuffle-Bunny-Cautionary-Ribbon-Picture/dp/0786818700

I love your sketches, and since they're of family, I expect Sam will love them as well. Some books for very young children here have a mylar mirror in them so the child can "be in" the book -- which is qutie delightful for them.

vivien said...

Thank you for the feedback everyone - it's greatly valued :>)

I don't think my illustrations are up to publishing though Shirley!

and thanks Ann and daughter - a child's perspective is a great one to hear.

I think I may have seen where's Waldo and pinched the idea of looking for something - I don't remember it at all clearly but do remember stories with children searching for something - but it's also memories of my children when they were little and mislaid a favourite toy - and I'm going to take a look at the links you've given me Melanie, thank you

Yes Julie the final will have text - just simple and a little repetitive asking if people know where his giraffe is - and the giraffe peeping out in each picture for Sam to spot as it's read to him

Yes the things in the pictures are familiar to him so he will hopefully recognise and pick up on them - he'll only be 16 months at Christmas but loves books and basic stories/rhymes/songs.

I'm so glad you think the illustrations will work - so thank you Laura, Shirley, Ann,Robyn, Julie and Melanie

Can't you just tell it's nearly Christmas with Fine Art on the back burner and childrens books and cards and stuff going on!

vivien said...

those 2 links were great - anyone reading the comments do look at them - thanks again :>)

Anita said...

Super illustrations! Yes yes yes do some books!

Cath Sheard said...

As a librarian who deals with children's book all the time, I think they're great. We tend to underestimate children's natural ability to read and interpret, and to distil what they need from a text. Children, with their 21st C intelligence, are often bored by anything too easy or 'dumbed down'. I'll be watching for the end result if you share the process with your followers.

vivien said...

Thanks Anita :>)

and thanks Cath - an expert opinion is great to have. I agree that people often underestimate children and their understanding and dumb things down far too much!

Yes, I'll share the results - I have to find the time to get it finished - I'm drowning in paperwork at the moment! Having survived (and got a good grade!!!!) one OFSTED inspection - we are preparing for them to visit the other college I teach at so there is another load plus extra hours of training etc etc etc

annie said...

I agree with Laura, I like the repeated little-boy-reaching image.And, see, you already have a Ten-year-old person's critique--I love it!

A giraffe peeking out is splendid. I like the mirror idea from Mycroft, too. My grandson loved them in books.

Whether you publish these stories or just create a book for them, Sam is going to love them.
annie

vivien said...

thank you Annie :>)

I don't intend to publish them though! they are just for Sam

laurel said...

Those are great illustrations and would make a wonderful book. You should definitely publish it.

muddy red shoes said...

I like these viv, I think however that little kids love detail, they read pictures much more than we do and love finding lots of things in the picture so put in as much as you can from his slippers on the floor to his toys everywhere, you could even do a secret sub story involving his toys that only he will see, or think he sees...see?
Kids illustrations are fab, just brought an amazing book called the savage, very powerful illos there.
I do loads of work for other countries and have to really gen up on all details, like plug sockets, milk cartons, wallpaper and furniture styles because of those little minds looking at the pictures in the end.
Good stuff...keep going

vivien said...

Sarah thanks for that - it's really useful to have this feedback and info and as well as taking note, I'll be passing it on to one of my students if you don't mind - she's very gifted in illustration and is seriously considering approaching companies with card designs and a book in the near future.