The beginning of the end…

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So the first week of the final term has nearly finished, and so far I have tried to think of a plan of action to use my time wisely. I made a rough timetable of when to start certain things when creating my children’s book. Within the dates I have split the work load into sections:

  • Finalise Story
  • Create Storyboards
  • Create Narration
  • Character Development
  • Scene Design
  • Create Scenes
  • Tweak all images
  • Get book printed

They are basic bullet points but they will intertwine with one another and all of the items will be constantly changing. I have always hated starting projects as I have either too many or no ideas at all and I am never sure which one to pick. Dismissing an idea that could have been amazing and picking another idea which isn’t going anywhere is a horrifying thought. However, I am sure many illustrators go through this process and the only way to combat it is to face the challenge and experiment. Due to having restricted time on creating this book, I can start to appreciate why established authors and illustrators take a long period of time to create a children’s book, as it is a slow but carefully planned process.

The story I have chosen is based on a squirrel who is scared by a grumbling noise and goes to his neighbours to see if anyone else had heard this noise in the forest. Here are my initial sketches and plans:



Before I started creating rough storyboards I didn’t really know where to start and so I thought I would research into the characters home. This allowed me to start to visualise the scenes and how I could play with the storyline to fit within the area. Also, depending where the character lived could alter his personality which is going to be developed later on.



When creating the rough storyboards I decided to look at some more picture books which included squirrels but to specifically look at how the author and illustrator laid their story out. From this I could see which stories worked and flowed as well as deciding what I didn’t want. Here is one of the analysis from a book called Tick Tock created by Eileen Brown and illustrated by David Parkins. A story about Skip the Squirrel who breaks her mum’s cuckoo clock, it’s a race against time to fix it before mum gets back. Visiting two characters, the Weasel and the Hedgehog who unsuccessfully fix the clock but they soon reach the Owl who fixes the clocks but they don’t have time to test it out before they place it back in the Squirrels house. They think they have achieved the impossible but as you would find out, the clock does not go Cuckoo Cuckoo anymore it sings Tu- Whit-Tu-Whoo!

Front Cover
Introduction to the characters and setting up the theme
One of the three extra characters trying to help fix the clock
The second character trying to fix the clock unsuccessfully
Stripping the story down to the bare minimum.

From looking at the basic storyline I could see there were set amount of pages for the beginning, middle and end to the story.

4 double pages which introduces the characters to the reader and shows the problem

6 double pages designated for the characters to try and fix the clock

2 double pages shows the consequence of the fixing of the clock

Including the front and back cover, copyright, title page and the two sets of end pages the book is 32 pages long which is the standard size. I was surprised because they had fit so much in within the book, which has adventure, humour and characters as well as the sense of time passing which can be hard to achieve.

After looking at this book I found my story has a similar layout and so I thought I would attempt to use this a basic guideline when creating my storyboard. I will be also looking at The Gruffalo again which was created by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler as they have a similar layout. Even though both of these books aren’t amazingly new and they use a popular layout, they make the book their own and tell their strong story with great excitement which I want to achieve.


BBC, n.d, Oak Wood. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 January, 2015].

Browne, E., 1993, Tick Tock. London: Walker Books Ltd.

Donaldson, J., 1999, The Gruffalo. London: MacMillan.

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