The Dreidel Tosser

IMAGE OF THE WEEK
from The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin

 

dreidel-tosser

One of the cardinal rules of children’s book illustration is “show, don’t tell”.  In the spirit of keeping the text as simple and concise as possible for young readers, nothing that can be shown in the art is described in the text.  If a boy is restless and disobedient, it is the illustrator’s job to find a way to show that.  Few words describe this mischievous boy in The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin, so it was up to me as the illustrator to flesh out his character visually.
I imagined this pudgy little fellow to be about nine years old – old enough to help his mother carry the bulky packages they’ve accrued on their shopping excursion – but not old enough to care.  Thus he crawls on fountains and railings and tosses things in the air while his mother struggles along.  pg17-centerThe shopkeeper, of course, is horrified by this little devil – but at least the bratty boy becomes a customer, as he orders his mother to buy the dreidel for him.  I wanted this boy to be restless and self-absorbed without becoming truly despicable.  He’s not a bad kid – just a spoiled one – which the dreidel itself seems to know, along with the toys in the toyshop.

pg14-topI painted numerous spot illustrations for this book to reveal the characters.  Children love to look at little illustrations, just as we enjoy looking at postage stamps.  Storytelling images make wonderful miniatures.

pg15

Stay tuned to meet the next boy who comes into the shop – in next week’s post.

Order The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin in time for the holidays

Dreidel jacket smallBuy two signed books and get a FREE calendar –

The Jewish Eye calendar of art

cover small

Warm wishes to all my readers –

Yael

D Yael Bernhard
Author / Illustrator of
THE LIFE OF AN OLIVENew!! Explore the life of a 2000-year-old olive tree
JUST LIKE ME, CLIMBING A TREE: Exploring Trees Around the World
NEVER SAY A MEAN WORD AGAIN – A Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review;
winner of the Sydney Taylor Award and National Jewish Book Council Award
THE DREIDEL THAT WOULDN’T SPIN – A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING – A Children’s Book Council Notable Book
A RIDE ON MOTHER’S BACK – An American Bookseller Assoc. Pick of the List
– and more!

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