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Hey there! Today I would like to share with you a short story about the process of creating my first children’s book called “Alice Cat Alphabet“.

Alice Cat Alphabet lets you learn English alphabet with your kids. The book contains short poems for 26 letters (don’t they all!) and spans around 60 pages. Each spread tells a separate story of daily adventures of the little girl Alice and her cat which is hidden in illustration and the short funny poem that lets you guess the hidden letter and the word.
Make an Apple pie for Alice’s dad to make him fatty and happy:) Start the morning with Alice Brushing the teeth to her Bear. Pretend to be a cowgirl riding a Horse or a Queen ruling a kingdom but still having a traditional five o’clock tea time break. Or play a Violin like great Vivaldi!
In the end of the book all the letters and illustrations are combined on one spread so that you can revise the alphabet from A to Z.

 

The book is based on real characters of the my daughter Alisa and my cat Margaret. 

Check out this lovely couple below:

The work on the book started with creating a roadmap.
I listed out all 26 letters, wrote the word to the letter and then invented a story about each letter with the two characters.
For the style I chose the most comfortable technique among traditional media for me – watercolor and the limited palette of Windsor & Newton basic watercolor set and Cerulean blue from Van Gogh watercolor. Additionallly I used brown liner for contour and several Copic markers for shadows.
I really like the feeling of holding the original artwork in my hands. And I think digital children’s book illustration doesn’t connect you with the reader so well.

 

 

The process of working on the watercolor illustrations for the interior, illustrating the book cover and the first page introduction illustration took me 1,5 months of hard work almost every day.

Anyway it was a joy seeing how the character sketch of Alice evolved from illustration to illustration as well as the cat character.

In the end I could draw the characters in any pose and even decided to draw the cover illustration in 3 times bigger resolution with big amount of details.

Gradually the wall of my workspace was all covered with book illustrations. It was a good opportunity to see the whole outlook of the book and analyse if I am sticking with the general color palette and proportions among illustrations.

After all the illustrations were done I wrote the hand lettered alphabet.
Also I wrote Alice Cat for the book cover with nice hand written font and decided to write the dedication on the back of the book by hand to give it even more personal touch.
While working on the personal project you are probably striked with extra ideas.
I decided to add additionally to the end of the book the spread with all the letters and the words to those letters so that parents can review the alphabet once again with a kid, or just play the guessing game like “And where is the bear? And were is the horse?” And the child will point out the letter.
And the super last thing I decided to try is to write poems to each letter by myself. And as it turned out I am good poet:) It is easy to write a short kid poem to the illustration you personally created from scratch. With the help of the text you can say something funny additionally to unite the whole story.
For the extra 4 days I wrote 26 poems + one more for the back side of the book where people usually write the annotation of the book.

And …. tadaaaaaam….. here are some of the spreads
of the finished book for you to check:

 
2017© Taty Vovchek Illustration
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