Thursday, December 9, 2010

Carmine: A little more red

I feel like I must have blogged about Carmine before, but I could think of no other book I wanted to blog about more today. My son has been solidly hooked on this Melissa Sweet book for the past week although he's been 'reading' it since he was just a few months old. It's a wonderful abecedarian play on Little Red Riding Hood. Each time we come back to it, he enjoys the depth of the story more.
Above are some beautiful character studies of Carmine, the main character, and a bit of her Granny too. Below is a sketch of a layout, and beyond that, the final art. These three images came from Jama Rattigan's awesome interview with Melissa Sweet last year.

It's the layers of story, dialogue, and image that have made this a great book to grow with. I've read this book at least 100 times now, and I always find a new detail that makes me smile - or think of new approaches as an illustrator.
In my opinion, Melissa does some of the best illustrated 'talk bubbles'. The maps at the front and back of the book are not to be overlooked either. She comes up with some zany sounds and illustrations of screams, yip-yaps, etc. throughout. I noticed this in Tupelo as well. It's the little songs and chances to play different voices to my son that make her books SO fun to read over and over. I also have a lot more patience reading a story repeatedly when I adore the art and the story.


Alicia PadrĂ³n said...

This is the first I hear about this book and it looks fantastic! Ohh I love Melissa Sweet. Thanks for posting about this GGina :o)

Deb said...

I have this book and it is one of my all time favorites. Just love Melissa's art. Hadn't seen that interview...what a treat! Thanks for posting Gina!