On my way to the NESCBWI conference in Springfield MA. They offered an “Illustration Challenge” to illustrate a passage from the 1899 original text of L. Fran Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I had never read the original, and I was surprised to find so much more to the story than what was featured in the classic 1939 movie. I was particularly enchanted with Chapter 20, The Dainty China Country, so I ran with it. I wanted to create an image that a child would want to look at again and again, as that is how I remember my favorite picture books. Most books now have such brief text, but I love the idea of a child listening to a longer passage while having an illustration to explore.
Here’s my final entry, followed by some of my research images.
I was inspired by this illustration from an early edition, as I love the way the text and the image are integrated.
Erzgebirge miniatures, circa 1927, from Ted Althof’s collection (great little blog with lots of cool villages!):
I also perused lots of china patterns (my apologies, as I pasted them onto one file, just to organize my research images):
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