It’s officially summer and, once again, time for the BC Library Association’s Summer Reading Club!
I’m pleased to be the official illustrator for this year’s program. I’m joining illustrious company; many CWILL artists have taken on this role in the past, including Jeremy Tankard, Ashley Spires, Dianna Bonder, and Kirsti Wakelin.
The theme for this year is “book a trip”—which is right up my alley, since I love to travel and it’s a big part of my creative process. As a matter of fact, I was on a trip to the UK and Ireland when I first agreed to take on the project.
I spent the fall working on the concepts and visual designs for the theme. I decided to build around the idea of a steampunk-style book that has the ability to transform into different vehicles and take a trio of critters on different adventures.
You can see this concept illustrated in the final poster:
I produced many options for the trio of critters, but eventually we ended up with the following crew:
The pilot: Amelia Squirrelheart, a flying squirrel
Here are some of the images of the crew on their adventures . . .
The talented team at the BCLA has done a wonderful job with all this material. Roger Handling designed all the material, such as the poster, the reading record, and the stickers. Shayne Letain (a previous summer reading club artist) also produced a wonderful website, that is full of animation and completely interactive. Here’s a snapshot of the homepage:
Check out all the interactivity here. (But be prepared to be lost on the site for a few minutes while you click on all the different scenarios and animations.)
My friends and colleagues know that in addition to being a writer and illustrator that I like to build. So it was kind of a no-brainer to try and construct a model of the steampunk book (which I like to call the portal passport). Here’s my model:
Of course, it doesn’t look exactly like my illustration . . . but it does have moving parts! This summer I’ll be visiting many BC libraries and helping kids make similar props—portal passports full of dials, gears, and buttons . . . and of course, the best thing of all: empty pages to fill with their own imaginings and inspirations.