Inside the making of The Perfect Baby Handbook, Part II
Saturday, May 23rd, 2009
The Perfect Baby Blog is on a brief hiatus while I’m in Canada. Until May 26, when regular blogging will recommence, I’ll be posting excerpts and illos from The Perfect Baby Handbook that provide an insider glimpse of how the book came together.
Today: Let’s take a look at some of the early illo concepts for the cover. Stage one: The illustrator, Kagan Mcleod emailed me some rough ideas, including this depiction of an equestrian perfect-baby making a break for it, leaving his anxious, jodphur’d parents in the dust. I quite liked this, but worried that it was over-emphasizing Baby’s sportsmanship at the expense of his intellect.
Next: In stage two, we started to zero in on the idea of a triumphant baby. My first idea was an infant straddling his parents’ heads, only slightly squishing their skulls. I loved this preliminary sketch (below.) Harper Collins didn’t. They wanted to limit the cast of characters to the baby himself so that parents who don’t identify with dented skulls could project themselves into the scene.
Finally, after trying and rejecting several other ideas (a baby standing on a giant cut diamond the size of a medicine ball), we ended up with this: a simple thumbs-up gesture and an imposing (if tiny) shadow…