Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The A-I Relationship in Action: Chicks and Salsa
I could blog about Chicks and Salsa in any number of ways. I could talk about how much I love the tight repetitive structure. I could praise the lovely alliterative language. Or I could applaud Aaron Reynolds for achieving that desirous, but elusive, little twist.
But I am not going to do any of those things. I am going to focus on what the illustrator, Paulette Bogan, brought to the table here.
Let me back up for a second and set the scene.
Farmer Nuthatcher's chickens were tired of the same old chicken feed. So, the rooster hatched a plan.
The chickens crept into the garden where they took tomatoes and uprooted onions. That night the chickens ate chips and salsa-- though nobody was quite certain where the chickens got the salsa.
Soon the other animals are itching for some spicy southwestern cuisine.
The ducks dipped into the garden where they selected cilantro and gathered garlic. That night the ducks ate guacamole-- though nobody was quite certain where the ducks got the avocados.
Are you getting the idea here?
Okay, so I always chuckled a little when I came to the "Nobody was quite certain..." part. It's an amusing line.
But what I didn't even notice (my kids had to point it out!) is that there is a mouse in sunglasses covertly handing off all this stuff to the barnyard animals. Ha! It cracks us up.
I just had to email Aaron and ask, "Did you put in an illustrator note about that?"
Here's his response:
No, I never included any illustrator’s notes for the mouse stuff. I just thought it was funny that we never knew quite where these guys got the harder to find ingredients, but when Paulette read it, she decided to provide a visual answer to that question in the form of the mouse. Wonderful! And one more example of why the process works the way it does. If it was my job or right to tell Paulette what to draw, I never would have come up with that.
Wow! So there you get a look at the process in action!