How do you decide what’s logical in a picture book world filled with talking animals and vehicles made out of fruit? Below, Art Director Danielle Carnito shares some snippets of hilarious art and details some of the wackiest questions that arose during the creation of Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Craftiest Christmas Ever by Chris Monroe!
I get to ask many questions and logic through a lot of art decisions while making picture books – and I have to say, it is fun. Especially in fictional worlds.
Here are a few choice seasonal examples, from a book made a by a Minnesota creator, during a Minnesota winter, with a Minnesotan publishing team, about a completely logical fictional handy-monkey world. That’s right, it’s Monkey with a Toolbelt and the Craftiest Christmas Ever. Creator Chris Monroe answered these questions for us while she was working on the delightful art and story in newest book in her Monkey With a Toolbelt universe:
1) What is the size ratio between an elephant and his new axe?
2) Similarly, would Chico Bon Bon be small compared to a roll of tape? And would he carry one huge roll of wrapping paper or multiple small rolls? Asking the hard questions.
3) Does Chico’s winter world look like the Minnesota north woods?
4) DO dogs like Dickens? Do They??
5) Would the cats in Chico’s world climb all over all the things too?
6) I mean… does a banana bobsled really need runners?
7) And. Most importantly. Chico has a winter toolbelt to make and fix things, clearly:
But. Seriously. Would Chico switch up his tool belt for a party? And – would it be plaid?
You’ll have to read the book to see the answer to that last one.
Happy holidays, and may you all have your equivalent of an elephant friend helping you speedily decorate cookies.*
(*yes, that’s another art reference you get to read the book to see! It’s worth it.)
Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 2
Reading Level: Grade 2