My second book as an illustrator has been published at last! I have been working with Rachel Wood and her wonderful baby goods company Bibado over the past year and a bit - and the fruits of our collaboration have now been launched. I co-authored (with Rachel) and illustrated the book "Dawn's First Tooth", a lift-the-flap adventure about teething, starring a young dinosaur called Dawn as she explores what teeth and mouths do.
This was an amazing opportunity for me (my second published book) and a chance for me to really have some fun designing cute dinosaur characters (a cast of seven, including Dawn's parents) and produce some vibrant, colourful backgrounds. I always got the impression that the style of illustration for books aimed at very young children always seemed to be very childish and simplistic, with basic shapes, simple colours and an unchallenging aesthetic.
I wanted to counter this with some nice vibrant colours, detailed character and background designs and fun, varied expressions and some humour. The lift flaps gave me a chance to play around with the possibilities and boundaries of a story book, using them like simple flick-book animations where you can open and close the flaps and see the characters "moving". The lift flaps were also an opportunity to really open up the backgrounds and show some of the details in the prehistoric landscapes I have drawn. To avoid having the same palette of greens, browns and blues in the background of every page, I showed the passage of time by having sunset and nighttime scenes in the middle of the story, including some lovely stars and a big, bright moon!
An additional, and for me especially exciting, part of this project was the opportunity to be involved in the design and development of a new teething toy based upon my character design of Dawn. The brief required a circular ring style toy that included Dawn's knobbly head, bumpy legs and Bibado's Dippit™ spoon honey drizzler on her tail (these teether requirements influenced the initial character design of Dawn in the first place). We took an illustration of Dawn from early in the story, where her proportions and 3/4 profile meant her body was roughly circular. Bibado's 3D CAD design wizards came up with teether concepts that I helped refine and develop to ensure she looked like my character while also complying with teething toy design regulations (the leaf behind her is part of that solution). And here she is, in all her glory!
Dawn the Dinosaur™ products are now available from bibado.co.uk.
I should have news about further books starring Dawn and her friends soon....
The names Bibado™ and Dawn the Dinosaur™ are trademarks.
© Bibado and Toast Cartoons 2021