In the Frog Prince book, one of the things I liked most about doing it were the split-screen pages, like this one:
But, because of the way the story went, I didn't really have an opportunity to use something similar for the Woodcutter story. But this kind of bugged me. All the pages seemed so... flat. Granted, all pages are, but it was especially noticeable in this one because of the style of art and how little action happens on some of the pages.
In particular, this page caused the most problems:
It doesn't seem like it would, but it did. Because it's just him standing there. So I got it to where I was happy enough with it, and decided to continue on with other ones. Then, as I was moving along, I got to page 17 (which I'll show in a bit).
On that page, I had to show the bad woodcutter throwing his axe in the water, while at the same time he was pretending to cry. In any other style, I could make this work in a square format. But since the (self-imposed) restraints on the style of this book means I can't use shading, perspective, etc., I was stuck with a composition that was hopelessly horizontal.
The problem was solved, of course, if I could break it up like the Frog Prince story. But I hadn't done anything like that so far, so it would look weird in the context of the book, even if I liked it by itself.
Then I remembered the problem page. If I broke that up, along with its companion page, I'd get this in earlier, and fix the page that was bugging me. Here are the two new versions:
They all look similar here, but in the book they'll be separated by a number of pages, like the split-screen ones in the Frog Prince. The only thing I miss in the silver axe page is that I showed the tree he was standing under in the original version. I liked it, but it couldn't carry the whole page, so out it went.