Friday, August 27, 2010

He Came with the Couch

As I mentioned last Friday, I'm rumaging through my library of children's books as I SLOWLY get my house back together after refinishing the floors. Ok, I'm not making much progress. But I did come across this book that I bought several years ago, purely based on the cover art. Sorta how I buy wine too.....

This is a tale of upholsterosis. A chronic state of couch-potato-ness. Sophie's family has found the perfect couch, but it comes with something extra, and getting rid of that extra something is impossible. In the end, though, who would want to?

In an interview with Chronicle Books, which you can read here, David Slonim says that he doesn't write with a particular audience in mind. He starts with an idea that interests him, from a point of view that makes him laugh. One day his family was stuck in heavy traffic behind a pick-up truck with a guy sitting on a couch in the back. That, he says, was the beginning of He Came with the Couch.

David does a lot of sketches and studies when he creates a book....piles of them. Behind each image in his books are many pencil sketches, miniature paintings in black and white acrylic paint, little color studies, and then trial and error on the final art until he gets it right. Here are studies from one of the spreads in the book:

His advice? Artists and writers push images and words around the way a kid pushes play dough. Don't be discouraged if you don't get it right on the first try. Professionals expect to keep trying until it's right. You can, too!

See more of David's fabulous art (he is also an incredibly accomplished fine artist) on his website.


Gina Perry said...

What an interesting book. And thank you so much for the artist's advice - I needed to hear that today!

Anonymous said...

This looks like a fun book to read. I've got to add this one to my TBR book list! Thanks for blogging about it.

Deb said...

Oh, I'm with you Gina....I needed it too!

Thanks Susanne...the story is very cute and has a great twist at the end.

Alicia PadrĂ³n said...

I've seen this Deb!! I saw it years ago and thought it was hilarious. :o)

LOVE his color palette.

Ride Operator said...

Did I tell you the other day that this was my favorite book lately? It's fantastic. I LOVE the humor. I knew I loved your style. :)

Jon Davis said...

Looks like a great book, and very interesting seeing the roughs too.
thanks very much for posting this.
I will look out more of David Slonim's work

John McDonald said...

I love this book. When I was 12 I read this book with my sister. I asked for permission to read this book online to promote selling it in my web bookstore. Mr. Slonim said yes. I am 17 now. the link below has the link to my old recording.

You have to own the book to truly appreciate the story. Get a copy and read it with my sister and me.