Saturday, February 09, 2013

The art of the BOOK

Sketches & cover ideas for Plank & Pancake
I follow enough librarians on Twitter to know that it's really that book cover that wins a reader's attention. It's also interesting to know that the book COVER, (though the first taste to the overall book experience,) is usually the LAST bit designed to complete the story. It's the reader's first introduction - that first impression, so you want it to be a good one.

As I work on my first picture book dummy, I am piecing together a cover to make my story feel polished. Then this morning I couldn't help but think what would Master Kidd do? Chip Kidd is well respected as one of the "Kings of book coverings. Though the titles linked to his name are actually novels, his Ted presentation is an excellent example of how he deconstructs a book to build upon the story it encases. 


All this can be applied to Picture Books as well. One just has to be consistent with the book's illustration style.
Storyboard flow study of Extra Yarn by Barnett & Klassen
For some of the books I treasure, I look back into them with a technical eye to peek into the book's structure. I sometimes have to remind myself that the story is about an experience as a whole. Sure, there's a beginning, middle, and end, but its the sequencing and flow that truly gives the story that vitality. To really get a good sense of a books flow, I will sketch an existing picture book in a storyboard format to watch for patterns in the sequencing. Other than the written progression of the story, what makes you (or me) want to turn that page?
Storyboard flow study of Cecil the Pet Glacier by Harvey & Potter

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