I absolutely love the artwork in my debut picture book, SCARLET’S MAGIC PAINTBRUSH. My illustrator, Sandie Sonke (http://www.sandiesonkeillustration.com) expanded on the essence of the story with her beautiful illustrations. Sandie truly understood my vision, and exceeded my expectations. I always thought that the magic of a picture book occurs when the pictures meet the words, and now I know this is true. When I first saw the illustration that became the cover, I stared with tears in my eyes. I keep a photo of the cover on my phone and peek at it quite often!
Here are two of the inside illustrations that I particularly love:
The first page spread introduces the story. Sandie shows Scarlet, with her red hair and flower wreath, holding the magic paintbrush. Scarlet’s expression is full of joy. The brush radiates its own distinct personality thanks to Sandie’s depiction. On the opposite page, Sandie shows paintings of a princess, unicorn, and fairy. The color palette Sandie chose is soft and vibrant. And Sandie’s placement of Scarlet’s pet dog here on this first spread and throughout the story is an extra visual interest that young readers will enjoy.
I am also fond of this second spread. Here, Sandie depicts the moments after Scarlet loses her magic paintbrush. Readers will notice Scarlet’s dejected expression. Even the dog is hiding under the table. I hope that kids will be able to relate to this experience of losing something important to them. Also, I was delighted to see the cat clock hanging on the wall. I had the exact same clock hanging in my room when I was a little girl. I know that whenever I open the book to this page I will smile.
As something to look forward to, the final spread is a total masterpiece!
Thanks for reading about these enchanted illustrations from my debut picture book – I’m so excited to share the entire book with everyone soon!
SCARLET’S MAGIC PAINTBRUSH
by Melissa Stoller, illustrated by Sandie Sonke
Clear Fork Publishing, August 2018
Available for pre-order at https://www.clearforkpublishing.com/store/p66/ScarletMagicPaintbrush.