So from that last concept panel I have made some alterations to my work starting with the straightening of the text:
…from this to…
I think it does work better straightened and it matches the other large paragraphs in the story. I still kept the same colour as it fits in with the colour palette of the illustrations which is very natural and nature themed.
Other changes I have made to my work is the Stoat jumping:
Originally I was trying to capture the Stoat’s weird way of attracting their prey and killing it, as they tend to distort and twist their body. However, now looking at the new design I can see why some viewers would have found it hard to understand what he was doing and where his limbs began and finished.
A much cleaner illustration of him jumping onto of the squirrel although I feel he doesn’t sit perfectly into the scene as the original as I have had to paint him separately then place him on top. Agin if I had more time I would refine the illustration.
Another improvement is the text on the front cover:
Instead of using a set type, I used one of the hand drawn noises from within the book and placed it on the front. I think it looks a lot better and is more natural with the surrounding illustration.
Here is the alteration to the end pages. I needed to incorporate more educational information in about the animals as it was mainly the illustrations showing the unusual creatures but to much type to explain what they are. So for the first end page I cut the original acorn scene in half and placed an activity game for the reader to complete. It also hints of what may be coming but still doesn’t give the story away.
For the end page that is going at the back I created the same layout by cutting the original scene in half and add a information page about specific animas in the book. I would love to have added more pages but I was a my 32 page limit and so I decided to place another activity in there by asking the reader if they could find any information about the stoat. This would hopefully kick start their interest in nature and the woodland.
For the sounds in the woodland I originally used the font that I used for the narrative and I liked it but it was suggested that I should hand draw the sounds like I did with the main sounds as it created more movement and depth. I struggled doing this as the images became pixelated when I reduced them in size or they were so fine photoshop couldn’t pick them up even though I scanned them at various dpi.
Anyway, I eventually got there and some are handwritten and some I have used the font as they were clearer compared to by design. I did change the style slightly so it’s not purely the same text and I think it works. I also moved the main text to the opposite page as it was hard to see on the branch on the left side.
Overall I think these tweaks have improved the book slightly and I am sure I could spot many more that I would love to correct however, I have ran out of time. But this does not mean this specific book is finished and I will improve it once the module has been finished. I will then hopefully send it to the Macmillan children’s book competition and possibly to potential publishing companies. Also I will be able to get my feedback from the questionnaires that I sent to a few primary school teachers and use their comments to improve and push the book further.