For the first of my set projects I have chosen the nonsense poem ‘Calico Pie’ by Edward Lear. I found difficulty finding a poem that fits in with a picture book before finding this. My emotions went from frustration at not finding one that works, calm when I found a few, then indecision at not being able to pick one and confusion at what some of the words meant in the poems. I finally felt comfortable when I found the right poem.
What I usually do before designing the characters and scenery is divide the poem into 12 sections as picture books usually last at least 12 double page spreads.
Delving into the characters proved frustrating for me as they don’t give away much info. The birds are good at singing and stay together. The fish wears a hat under the sea, although in reality the hat would just float away and he/she would realise what a waste of money it was. The mice are fond of tea and end up dancing in the cup after drinking it all, which sort of resembles a night out for some people. The grasshoppers hop most of the time with other insects but could be competitive and appear smug when winning all the time. What they all have in common is bugger off at the end of their sections. Starts off positive and bright before becoming bleak and depressing. Could make the readers think where they all disappeared to? Sort of has that element of surprise.
What I aim to do is spend between 30-45 minutes for each of the character designs and see what emotions I conjure up when working on them.