Words & Pictures
On February 9, 2017 | 0 Comments

Creating a picture book from opposite sides of the world is no easy feat!

In case you don’t know, I live in the United States and Matt lives in Australia. Hilarity ensues. For example:

Me: “What do you mean Foster’s isn’t Australian for beer?”

Matt: “You mean you’ve seen an actual beaver?”

Me: “Are there kangaroos hopping around your house right now?”

Matt: “You’ll never guess what species of deadly spider just ran across my foot!”

Weird animals aside, distance sometimes affects the books. Sometimes my words and his pictures just don’t agree in the first round!

For example, take this illustration from Bean’s latest adventure, Bean Draws a Flower.

Original image

Revised image

The text on this page says:

Bean looked at the red pencil, then thought about the flowers he’d seen. None of the flowers had been purple and red. What could he do with a red pencil?

Then he had an idea! Maybe he could make red petals around the flower’s purple center. Would it look good? Or would it ruin his prize-winning flower?

There was only one way to find out. Bean sighed and got to back to work on his drawing.

When I saw the original illustration, I immediately knew something wasn’t quite right.

At this point in the story, Bean isn’t completely freaked out about the colors he needs to use, but he is concerned. Matt helped by adjusting the illustration to better reflect Bean’s ambiguity.

Sometimes we change the drawing to make it match the words. But that isn’t always the case! Sometimes we change the words to match the drawings.

For example, in Bean Draws a Flower, I had used the word crayon throughout the text. But when the illustrations came back, the kids were drawing with colored pencils.

It wasn’t a mistake! Matt just discovered that the colored pencils looked better than crayons in the kids’ hands! Plus, they dovetailed nicely with our coloring game, where fans can use colored pencils to create scenes for their favorite characters from the garden.

Whether we end up changing the words or the pictures, in the end, we always iron out our differences to create the best possible adventure for Bean and his friends!

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