Today is the publication day for a very special book (and the last of SEVEN I'm putting out this year)—our first BABYMOUSE picture book!
It's called LITTLE BABYMOUSE AND THE CHRISTMAS CUPCAKES, and it's the first time we'll see our intrepid little heroine in full color (click to enlarge any of the images):
The story takes us BACK IN TIME ... (cue sci-fi sound effects) to a Christmas Eve when Babymouse was only four years old. Her little brother, Squeak, is a newborn, and has lungs that would put any roaring dragon to shame! On top of it all, Babymouse has "accidentally" eaten all of the cookies she set out for Santa, which leads her to an inspiration: She now has the chance to REALLY impress him by baking CHRISTMAS CUPCAKES!
Jenni and I had never done a picture book before (our board books like I'M GRUMPY and I'M SUNNY aside), and so this was a fairly intimidating project to undertake. Picture books are a particular species of book, and Jenni and I and the team at Random House had to work together to not only make a good picture book, but to make a story that could fit smoothly into the BABYMOUSE universe.
It went through a lot of changes, as you can see in my early color work, where I was looking to do more of a hybridization between paper and digital (overlaying my digital inks on top of scanned watercolor artwork):
And the final art, which sticks closer to the more vibrant and graphic "animation" style that readers of a comic book might be more likely to expect:
(It also throws in a bit of fun Holiday color in that page border!)
So, go pick up a copy of LITTLE BABYMOUSE AND THE CHRISTMAS CUPCAKES today! It's the perfect stocking stuffer for the little mouse in your house!