Novelty Books - Flap books.
Readers Digest Zoo! book with fold out pages.
There are lots of different types of children's books, and they require different things.
Novelty books have some sort of interactive element - flaps, textures, moving parts such as pop ups or sliders, or fold out pages, to give a surprise element.
I have worked lots of books with fold out pages, including this one Zoo! produced for Readers Digest Childrens Books.
I worked with the designer to produce artwork for both sides of the fold out pages. It isn't the same on both sides, which is something I really appreciate.
The structure of the folded flaps for this was quite complicated, on the first page (shown above) it lifts right out of the book to reveal the baby rhino beside the mum, and the images have to work at the various different stages of folding it out.Other pages featured a crocodile, a zebra a lion, and a giraffe - which required a long fold UP flap for the neck.
The Zoo! book, and others in the series, was produced in two different size formats, so the artwork had to work at both sizes.
I like to do my artwork at actual printed size or sometimes bigger, so that you can see all the detail in the painted textures I make. The original artwork for this one was huge, I bought some really huge pieces of white card to work on.
The card had a smooth finish, so all the texture comes from the application of the paint. I really love the versatility of gouache, you can apply in thin washes as watercolour (though it doesn't have the same translucency) or you can apply it in smooth flat opaque areas, or you can play around with the texture, up to a point - I have had paint crack and flake off when I have had too thick a layer, or too many layers.
Jo Brown, Illustrator.
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