Tag Archives: “Thinking in Pictures: Illustrating Children’s Books”

On the Road to Creating Story!

What Makes Your Characters “Tick”?

Let’s look at the beginning of a picture book story.

The initial step is introducing your main character. Can you tell us what he/she is thinking?

What is their prime directive? What motivates them? What problem are they confronting in your story?

I love sharing this series of spreads created by  graphic design pioneer Bruno Munari — an Italian Paul Rand — who loved children’s picture books.  This is from his book The Elephant’s Wish.

Here’s Elephant, who wishes he could be as carefree as a bird…

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Bird wishes he could swim. Can you guess why?

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Snake wishes he could graze majestically like a bull . . .

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Bull wishes he could be like the elephant. Why? Then he could swish away those pesky flies! We come full circle by the end of the book.

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Artist Laurent Moreau contemplates himself!

 

 

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By Laurent Moreau. A girl dreams of being by the sea

Here’s the cover, which hints at the animals’ thoughts, while intriguing us with an unusual graphic.

 

 

 

 

Check out how Laurent Moreau lets us in on his characters’ thoughts:

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The cover from “What Are You Thinking?” by Laurent Moreau

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Ah, a play on line textures and far away thoughts by Laurent Moreau…

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This woman is full of jealous thoughts. By Laurent Moreau

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What a little girl in costume imagines, by Laurent Moreau

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What an absorbing story! Could she be lost into it? By Laurent Moreau

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Subconscious memories from a famous
folk tale, by Laurent Moreau

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What a boy thinks
by Laurent Moreau

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What one young woman
pines for, by Laurent Moreau

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It’s all math to some people!

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What a beautiful mind!

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A nature lover!

This is a fabulous way to explore your own story characters. Express what they are thinking, in collage! Check out these results.

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This one is by Marcia Sorini,
an elementary school teacher (see part 2, below)

 

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Check out what other students have created here!