Saturday, December 29, 2012

"Little Women" Illustration for SCBWI Tomie dePaola Award

Here is my entry to the annual Tomie dePaola Award.

He gave us all the challenge to produce an illustration in black & white – something I don't normally do. But I'm always up for a challenge!

We were to choose a passage, line or description from one of the following classic books to illustrate: “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain, or “The Yearling” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

I chose this passage from "Little Women":
As Christmas apporached, the usual mysteries began to hunt the house, and Jo frequently convulsed the family by proposing utterly impossible, or magnificently absurd ceremonies, in honor of this unusally merry Christmas. Laurie was equally impracticable, and would have had bonfires, sky-rockets, and triumphal arches, if he had had his own way. After many skirmishes and snubbings, the ambitious pair were considered effectually quenched, and went about with forlon faces, shich were rather belied by explosions of laughter when the two got together. Several days of unusually mild weather fitly ushered in a splendid Christmas-day. Hannah “felt in her bones that it was going to be an uncommonly plummy day,” and she proved herself a true prophetess, for everybody and everything seemed bound to produce a grand success. To begin with: Mr. March wote that he should soon be with them; then Beth felt uncommonly well that morning, and, being dressed in her mother’s gift, – a soft merino wrapper, – was bourne in triumph to the window, to behold the offering of Jo and Laurie. The Unquenchables had done their best to be worthy of the name, for, like elves, they had worked by night, and conjured up a comical surprise. Out in the garden steed a stately snow-maiden, crowned with holly, bearing a basket of fruit and flowers in one hand, a great roll of new music in the other, a perfect rainbow of an Afghan round her chilly shoulders, and a Christmas carol issuing from her lips, on a pink paper streamer: – 

“God bess you, dear Queen Bess! 
May nothing you dismay; 
But health, and peace, and happiness, 
Be yours, this Christmas-day. 

“Here’s fruit to feed our busy bee, 
And flowers for her nose; 
Here’s music for her pianee,–
 An Afghan for her toes. 

“A portrait of Joanna, see, 
By Raphael No. 2, 
Who labored with great industry, 
To make it fair and true. 

“Accept a ribbon red I beg, 
For Madam Purrer’s tail; 
And ice cream made by lovely Peg,– 
A Mont Blanc in a pail. 

Their dearest love my makers laid 
Within my breast of snow. 
Accept it, and the Alpine maid, 
From Laurie and from Jo.” 

How Beth laughed when she saw it! How Laurie ran up and down to bring in the gifts, and what ridiculous speeches Jo made as she presented them!

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