When Children's books cross with comic books...

If you’re a children’s book enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of Mo Willem’s books. The page layout and format is really easy and fun to read with your kids. They are CRAZY popular right now. (These pages are from Elephant and Piggie’s Biggie.)

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This new storytelling style that he has introduced to the Kid Lit community is very simple and conversational, with speech balloons dialog instead of storybook text.

...I don’t know about you, but the first time I saw his books, I thought, “Oh, so it’s like a comic book for kids!”

And then I realized, “Psh, I could make that! Actually, I bet I can make a book even BETTER.”

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Quite a bold statement, I know. But I’m a children’s book author & illustrator with way too much comic drawing experience:

I drew comics to earn my BFA in Sequential Art (aka, basically the art of making comics) at SCAD, I went off-campus to Tokyo and studied comics with a famous cartoonist, and I drew a comic strip about my life every week for about 3 years straight. I even took the ultimate comic challenge, 24-Hour Comic Day, and I successfully wrote, drew, then inked a 24 paged 11x17 inch comic book all in 24 hours.

 

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So, rather than being inspired by Mo, you could say I feel challenged.

Challenged to make my own version of this children’s book + comic book hybrid!

(And kudos to Mo for making it popular in the first place.)

And my first children’s book using this method will feature Abel the Tortoise and Ana the Hare.

It’ll be an animated ebook series, and if I can figure out the logistics, I’ll offer it in paperback as well.

Plus, I think that once I get going, I can easily and quickly build up a series! So watch out, the tale of the Tortoise and the Hare is getting a major revamp. ;)

Stay updated on the Tortoise & Hare Children’s Book here.


Nikki Floreno