A visit from Anne Rockwell & Lizzy Rockwell!

Great news: Another mother-and-daughter collaboration is in-the-works! Today, we get a sneak-preview right here!

I still receive terrific feedback about our winter 2010 Countdown Interview with Anne Rockwell. Click here to re-live her long time many-faceted career — with her late husband, Harlow Rockwell; on her own as author/illustrator; and her collaborations with many celebrated picture book artists.

Her interview with daughter, Lizzy Rockwell can be found here. — JC

Anne Rockwell: HarperCollins is publishing First Day of School, illustrated by my daughter, Lizzy Rockwell, due out in June 2011.

Jacket art, with type for "First Day of School"

This is the jacket art, with type design by Sean Boggs of HarperCollins.

This is a new title in our series about the children in one particular classroom, the most recent being St Patricks Day and President’s Day.

Lizzy Rockwell: Here are the thumbnails for the opening pages. Also included below are the progressive sketches for the first story spread (pages 6-7); then the final art, with text type in position.

original thumbnails for 3 spreads

original thumbnails for 3 spreads

Joy Chu: [See above] The first spread is of the printed endpapers, or “self-ends,” numbered as pages 2-3. Page 1 will be glued to the book cover board. Pages 4-5 is the title page spread. The story begins on pages 6-7.

sketch for pp 6-7 of FIRST DAY AT SCHOOL

dummy sketch for spread 6-7

revised sketch for spread 6-7

revised sketch for spread 6-7

finished art for spread pages 6-7

finished art for spread pages 6-7

Lizzy Rockwell: On the opening spread, pages 6 & 7, Nicholas has a reckoning with his unruly end-of-summer hair.

Joy Chu: That added self-portrait of Nicholas — which first appears in the revised version of your initial sketch, is an inspired touch!

From a story telling standpoint, it serves as a clever means for us to feel his anticipation (and his anxiety) towards that first day. The reader will perceive Nicholas as a real live kid, not simply a made-up character. We can all identify with having bad hair days. It also sets up the scenario of the book’s theme nicely!


7 responses to “A visit from Anne Rockwell & Lizzy Rockwell!

  1. Thanks for visiting, Chris and Bernice, and your encouraging comment., Bernice.

    Your enthusiasm was really welcome, since this book had been a great challenge to write. Lizzy and I had already set the scene and cast of characters in the preceding titles in this series. For the longest time I just couldn’t make it work, and then one day it all came together. Miraculously, as it sometimes does in all creative work.

    Lizzy does a lot of school visits where she’s discovered that children really know and love and follow these characters so they had to be consistent, and yet–they’re growing. Lizzy did a great job with the illustrations, and when I saw them, I discovered that the story, which I still wasn’t sure worked–DID!

    That’s the way it is with picture books. Story and pictures have to come together to make the whole.

  2. i am in awe! beautiful work, lizzy….i have always been a fan!
    congrats to you and anne on another great collaboration!

  3. Looking forward to this fun collaboration/chat.

  4. Thanks for this post, Joy and Lizzy. It’s great to see the genesis of an illustration this way. Usually all the various stages are scattered all over — or in various wastebaskets (at least mine are) so this orderly progression is terrific to share.

    • Hi Anne! Thanks for the kind words. It’s true that the buzz about our Countdown Interview still reverberates. Click here for an example.

      Judging from this link, perhaps all things picture book are 7 degrees of Anne Rockwell!


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