As a life-long artist, but first time picture book illustrator, I feel so excited, but also slightly overwhelmed by illustrating today. There are infinite possibilities and tools for creating children’s book illustrations. Not only do we as artists have the traditional paints, pencils and markers at our fingertips, but the world of digital illustration lets us dip our toes into any technique and style without having to dive in and purchase all the actual art supplies. You don’t even need a computer! Drawing apps make it possible to sketch on your phone if you really wanted to (not that the screen size would be ideal, but it is a possibility!)
With the countless number of tools we have to create art, it’s so refreshing to see children’s book illustration created by one of the simplest of tools- a colored pencil.
Edward Gets Messy, written by Rita Meade and illustrated by Olga Stern, splats, plops and gloops full of colorful messes and playful little animals, as Edward learns to loosen up and get messy.
Edward Gets Messy stars a particularly clean and very adorable little pig named Edward. We get to know Edward as he obsessively sprays and dusts and cleans to his heart’s content. But we also see all the fun he misses out on while avoiding all the messes he hates so much. Maybe you know a little someone who avoids a slippery, sloppy mess at all costs. This could be just the book for him or her!
Art and the fun stuff!
Edward Gets Messy first drew me in with its bright splashes of color and a cute but cautious little pig on the cover. The rambunctious characters full of personality and color caught my eye, but the lively and textural ways the illustrator handled her drawings really tugged at my artist’s heart strings. Stern’s use of energetic line work and beautifully color combinations took me back to my college days, and the first brand new set of Prismacolor colored pencils I had purchased for myself. Colored pencils can blend the hand of a very skilled artist and the innocence of a child’s style of coloring. Stern did this so wonderfully in Edward Gets Messy, it made me want to dig up my old Prismacolors and start coloring on real paper.
Kids will love it...
...for the wonderfully, messy world Edward and his friends live in. Tossing spaghetti and meatballs, leaping into autumn leaves and splashing mud during a baseball game- all scenarios parents might cringe over, but kids will revel in. I especially loved this as the debut picture book for both the author and illustrator. I am eagerly waiting for more from these two talented women.
Sarah Momo Romero is a Japanese Peruvian American artist, a graphic designer by day and children's book author and illustrator by night. She’s loved drawing and painting since she was a chiquita and now crafts stories of adventure and wondrous creatures. Sarah is an active SCBWI member who draws inspiration from her life in sunny Los Angeles with her husband/creative partner and dog/infamous escape artist, Peanut. Look out for her first picture book coming out in
You can find more of Sarah's musings and drawings here:
Facebook: Sarah Momo Romero + Instagram: @sarahmomoromero + Twitter: @sarahmomoromero
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