Our book, KING BIDGOOD’S IN THE BATHTUB, won a Caldecott Honor Award in 1985. Don used real people as models to pose as the characters and to act out the courtly roles. The models were chosen from our friends and family and everyone posed for free.
Don was on a tight schedule to finish the illustrations on time. When the Queen he had selected didn’t show up for her session, I stepped in and played her part.
It was fun, but when I viewed Don’s sketches of me, I was shocked. Don had added 30 pounds and 15 years to my visage to make me more QUEENLY.
Does Don always use live models for the characters when he draws? Yes, Don prefers to use models whenever he can.
He kept a pet mouse in his studio when he illustrated our book, THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR. I would often find Don observing the little mouse and even holding it while he sketched. The little mouse didn’t mind at all!
Although I don’t use models when I illustrate books, my animal friends often do inspire my drawings. Sumo and Duffy, our two pugs, hang out in my studio while I work.