And They Lived Happily Ever After

The last page of the Frog Prince! Now all I have to do is print up a copy for her. Or several, after seeing the fate of the Happy ABCs.

One thing I never mentioned. The reason I dressed Princess Moy Moy the way I did is because that's how Arianna likes to pretend to be a princess. She has a big pink bath towel that she wraps around herself, and sways back and forth saying "priiiincess." That's also why Moy Moy's dress has an empire waist - Arianna always holds it up high like that!


Or Maybe This

Just in case the Prince looked like he should have a big gold chain to go with that open shirt, I changed his collar. Here's the new version. I figured I'd leave the old one up on the previous post, just for comparison. I'd welcome any input – anyone have a preference for one or the other?

Not Too Much More Frog Prince

Not too much left to go, at any rate. Down to all but the last page!

Page 21 is a good example of something I would change if this were to move to an actual book format. Currently, it's 22 pages (which allows me another 2 for title page, or, in other words, a 24-page book. All books have to be in multiples of 4, because of the way they are printed). A typical picture book is 32 pages, so I'd need to add another 10 to fill it out. Which is why I'd change page 21 – I could easily break that into 2 pages, if I weren't concerned about finishing this before Arianna is too old to appreciate it (say, at 2 and 3/4 years old. Hey wait, she's narrowing in on that now!). The transformation could be one page, and his explanation the next.

Other places to split pages would be when she answers the door. If I weren't trying to keep the current page count down, I'd have made that it's own page. I could also make Princess Moy Moy's first appearance in the garden a two-page spread, as another example, as well as her running back with the golden ball. But all of that is just a future possibility, I've got a child to hurry up and read to!

P.S. On my screen, it looks like the Prince has a yellow front to his shirt (i.e. the same color as the frog's belly). On Serena's screen, it looks like his shirt has a neckline that goes all the way down to his waist (she said all he was missing was chest hair). How does this look for other people? Should I make it more decidedly different from his skin tone, or does it look okay?


More Frog Prince

Up to page 18 – nearing the end! Only 4 pages to go.

The way I rendered her disgust with the frog sharing her pillow is a direct result of the previous comments. A little dramatic without breaking the style of the drawings. So all comments are welcome – they make a better book!



I was making up a story for the kids, to keep them entertained while we were driving. The story involved a salesperson who was actually a cake. So he's Bob the Salescake. This makes more sense when you realize the rest of the story involves vegetarian anteaters, rocket-powered bicycles, clouds in a school locker, and a bear (there's always a bear in the stories I make up for them. They seem to like bears).

The illustration style is vaguely Tenniel, the illustrator of Alice in Wonderland. Yep, I've been re-reading the Alice books again because the movie came out. Actually, the movie didn't really do much for me at all, so if I hadn't been reading them beforehand, I probably would be starting now to clear my head.

At any rate, I like the older style of the Alice illustrations. Since I don't really know how to do etchings, I decided to go instead for sepia on aged-looking paper. Yes, I know, actually quite unlike Tenniel's drawings, but still, I tried to go for something that could be an etching instead of being a painting or a watercolor. And Tenniel's illustrations were, in fact, engraved by the Dalziel Brothers, so I could always look at it like that. This is what I'll send off to the engraver for printing, I'll tell myself in my Victorian-illustrator-wannabe mind.

Totally loving this older-looking paper – it's the same one I used for the Valentine's Day/Chinese New Year card. More of this kind of drawing will inevitably show up again sooner or later.


Ew, Yucky!

I got a comment on the last post, noting that Princess Moy Moy doesn't really show much disgust at the thought of the frog sharing her cup. And, for good or bad, that's true. I toned down everything, due to the art style and the age of my audience.

Which is not to say that it wouldn't be great fun to go all-out on the grossed-out expression, if this were in a different style. So, for my own amusement, I thought I'd do a more over-the-top version of the princess from page 15. It'll never make it into the book, but it was fun to draw!


Finally, More Frog Prince

Been away from this one too long, but that's what major home renovation will do to you.

Page 15 was a collaborative effort with my wife. She liked the drawing, but the expression on the princess' face just didn't say "Ew, yucky" to her. I thought about changing the expression by adding eyebrows, but it just didn't work. Then we came up with just changing the shape of the whites of her eyes, which is such a fun solution I may revisit some of the older ones to see if it would apply to any of them.