Childish Nonsense

Exploring Children's Literature

Bear-Style Picture Book

on April 26, 2013

Shopkeepers BearLast Saturday, my SCBWI region had the opportunity to learn about the creative process of illustrators directly from an illustrator, Rebecca Evans. About 15 people, including Rebecca’s mother and husband and a phone-in participant, listened for nearly two hours as Rebecca described the many detailed steps she takes as an illustrator. We met at The Red Canoe Bookstore Café in Baltimore, a cozy older home converted for the purpose.

The illustrator’s first task is work with the text in determining page breaks that help the story flow. After that, she can begin to sketch her first ideas for each page of the book. From small sketches to larger, more detailed sketches. Then to full-size drawings. And on to paintings. We sweated out the entire process with her.

Rebecca did a great job holding our attention – a difficult task with any age group – and keeping it lively. And the muffins were good too.

And here is my review of the resulting book.


When a bear has a bad encounter with the residents of a very large beehive, she notices that a local shop has a safer supply of honey. The owner of the grocery has lost his glasses and can’t quite tell that he’s putting a bear to work in the store. Of course, his customers do see a bear and run for their lives. The plot has a couple of fun twists, which leave a lot of room for the reader to guess what comes next. No real guessing, though, when Mr. McFranklin gets his new glasses.

Through the illustrations, the characters come alive. Seeing Poppy lick her lips, have her behind sticking out of the tree, wearing an apron, and hugging the shop owner add so much to the fun.  This is a very nice addition to the world of picture books.

Title: The Shopkeeper’s Bear

Written by: Janie DeVos

Illustrated by: Rebecca Evans

Little Giggles Press, 2012

Paperback, 32 pages

ISBN: 978-0-9885891-0-0

2 responses to “Bear-Style Picture Book

  1. I am extremely inspired with your writing talents and also with the
    layout in your blog. Is that this a paid theme or
    did you modify it your self? Anyway keep up the nice high quality writing, it’s uncommon to peer a great blog like this one nowadays..

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