If you’ve followed me for any length of time, then you’ll know I’m an advocate for building a children’s library. I have always been a lover of books and my husband and I are both hard copy kind of folks – especially in the day and age of all things digital. There’s nothing like going to the bookshelf and pulling off a physical book.
Recently, I came across an amazing opportunity to review two books from Children’s Book Author, Glenys Nellist. I cannot say enough good things about her two most recent writings – God Made Mommy Special and God Made Daddy Special – two books that I highly recommend that you add to your children’s library NOW. These books are well thought out, well written, and super engaging (even for the most youngest child). I especially enjoy the durability of these books because I’ve got some little hands that can wear a book out (LOL)!
I had the privilege of speaking with Author Glenys personally and pick her mind to find out her vision behind writing God Made Mommy (and Daddy) Special. Watch the exclusive interview below, and afterward, scroll down to read my interview with the Illustrator, Estelle Corke! Also, ENTER THE GIVEAWAY AT THE BOTTOM for your CHANCE TO WIN A FREE COPY OF God Made Mommy Special and God Made Daddy Special!!!
*DISCLAIMER: With the Huddlestons does not endorse the celebration of Christmas and Easter (or any other mainstream holidays); however, we DO endorse the observance of Biblical Celebrations (Feast Days) as commanded by YHVH. If you’re interested in learning about these, CLICK HERE.
It was also an honor to catch the vision and thoughts behind the beautiful illustrations of Glenys’ books. Below you’ll read the question and answer interview from the Illustrator of God Made Mommy (and Daddy) Special – Estelle Corke.
- How long did it take you to come up with the illustrated characters?
I usually take anything from 30 minutes to 2 hours to come up with each character. Some are easier than others! I always look at photographs of each animal on Google images or in books to see the physical and personality characteristics in real life. I then do rough pencil sketches in my sketch book to get a feel to how the animal might move as I animate the drawing into the position I want. I then modify the drawings to make them look younger, softer and “children book “ friendly.
- What do you do with concepts that don’t make it to the final project?
They stay in the back of my head and sketch book.
- Do you ever reuse them in a later piece of work?
Sometimes they’re useful for a different project; even if they are just a basic idea to be then developed later.
- Do you often refer to other things for inspiration? (Where do you find your inspiration?) If so, do you mind to share?
Whether the characters are animals or children, I refer back to my relationship with my daughter and family. Also, my visual memories of films, television programs or events in my life are my inspiration. Animals consequently become ‘anthropomorphic’ in that I illustrate them with having recognisable human traits; that makes them very cute.
- Do you ever go with your first mind and go from there?
I try not to put pressure on myself, and think, “this may not work out, I’ll just do some more until it does” that usually relaxes me and I don’t have to do loads and loads ‘til I get the right one. Sometimes, the first thing that comes into my head is the best; otherwise characters can become “overworked”.
- Do you find it challenging to not use a character you’ve previously used, or is it something you are not concerned about?
Common characters happen in books because they are popular, for instance, bears, and a publisher might particularly ask me to illustrate a book because they’ve seen something I’ve done before and they’ve chosen my particular style- so some of my characters may look familiar. I do try and vary them slightly, and the stories are different, so that changes the look of the book instantly. I’ve never illustrated a mother and baby snail and octopus before though!
- What would you like readers to take away from your illustrations in these books?
I would hope readers will like the way my characters interact with each other, truly reflecting Glenys’s lovely words, and they find them fun and cute! My favourites are the baby monkey swinging in the tree with the banana and the hamsters cuddling in bed asleep.
If you would like to connect with Author Glenys Nellist, find her across most social media @GlenysNellist and visit her website. Connect with the Illustrator, Estelle Corke on Facebook and see her portfolio here.
CHIME IN: What are some children’s books that are must-haves for you? Share in the comments below!
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