Children’s Book Illustration
I have always had a fascination with Children’s books. I love the illustrations, they bring the words to life – a face the the characters allowing the reader to connect fully with the story. I have the same fascination with animation. One of my goals is to publish a children’s book with my illustrations in it. I’m not keen on writing the story myself but I will gladly give your characters a face that kids will fall in love with.
This set of story book illustrations are for Enid Blyton’s Sly the Squirrel Gets a Shock. Enid Blyton was one of my most favourite authors when I was a kid. I would collect book after book of hers and I still have them today. These pictures are unpublished as they were for a Uni narrative project. The words were typeset onto each of the spreads not how they are shown below.
Sly the Squirrel Gets a Shock!
Sly the Squirrel was a mean creature. He always go the best nuts or himself and the very nicest toadstools. He wouldn't let the nut-hatch bird have a single one of the nuts in the hazel wood where he lived, and if he caught the little dormouse taking one off the ground he would bound down and chatter at him angrily. “They’re my nuts, they’re my nuts!”“They’re not,” said the dormouse. “You ask the hazel trees. They grow them for anyone.”
“The squirrel is a meanie, the squirrel is a meanie,” sang the nuthatch, and whistled loud a long. “Sly is his name and sly is his nature!” sang the little blue bird who sometimes liked a nut himself. “Nobody likes the squirrel, nobody likes the squirrel,” squeaked the field mouse, popping his head up from a hole under the roots of a pine tree not far off. The squirrel stared angrily round. It wasn’t nice to have things shouted out about him like that. He was very much annoyed.
He bounded away to the top of a tree. It was late autumn and there were many nuts hanging on the boughs. The squirrel picked one and bit it with his sharp teeth. He gnawed a hole in the nut to get at the sweet kernel. But the kernel inside was not sweet, it was very bitter. The squirrel spat it out in disgust. “A bad nut!” he said. “There are such a lot this year. I wish the nuthatch bird and the mice would get all the bad nuts, and I could get all the good ones. That would serve them right for being so mean to me.” As he sat and nibbled at a good nut, an idea came into his sly head. “I know what I’ll do! I’ll gather all the bad nuts I can find and put them into a pile, and I’ll tell the nuthatch and the mice I’ve picked them for a present for them! Then they will be sorry they called me rude names, and will think I am a fine squirrel. But what a shock they will get in the middle of winter when they go to their store of nuts and find that they are all bad!”
The mean little squirrel began to hunt for the bad nuts. He knew that they had little holes in them where the nut grub had bitten its way out. He put them all together in a pile at the foot of one of the hazel trees. “Look at Sly the squirrel! He is piling up heaps of nuts for himself!” said the nuthatch bird to the dormouse below.” The squirrel overheard him. “Those lovely nuts are not for me,” he said. “They are for you and the dormouse.”
“I don’t want them,” said the dormouse. “I sleep all winter through. I’m eating nuts myself now to get my body fat, so that I shall be able to sleep in comfort all the winter. It will soon be very cold weather.” The nuthatch was surprised to hear that Sly the squirrel had collected the nuts for the others, and not or himself. “Thank you,” he said. “I may visit the pile in the winter,” So he and the dormouse covered up the big pile of bad nuts with leaves. Sly the squirrel grinned to himself. “What a shock they will get!” he said.
Now that night the frost came. It came very suddenly indeed, before Sly the squirrel expected it. He had been so busy collecting bad nuts for the others that he had had no time to collect good ones for himself. Usually he picked many nuts and hid them in corners and crannies, so that when he awoke on a warm day in winter, and felt hungry, he would have plenty of nuts to find and eat. It was terribly cold the next day. Sly woke up and looked out from his hole in the tree. “I’d better go out and find some nuts to store away,” he said sleepily. He put his nose out a bit farther, but the frost bit it and he drew it in again quickly. “Oh! How cold! I’ll sleep a bit longer!”
He slept for more than a month! When he did wake, he was dreadfully hungry. He leapt out of his hole into the winter sunshine. It was quite a warm day for winter time. He looked about for nuts. The trees were quite bare. There were no leaves and no nuts. And then Sly remembered that he had not had time to store himself away any good nuts at all! “Oh my! I didn’t put away nuts as I usually do!” he said to himself. “now what shall I do?” He sat hugging his little empty tummy and then he saw that nut hatch bird flying by, whistling. “Hi nuthatch! Where are there any nuts?” “Nowhere,” said the bird. “The trees are bare.” Then Sly saw the little mouse. “Hi dormouse!” he called. “Have you any nuts stored up? Could you spare me a few?” “No I’ve only got enough for myself and my family,” said the dormouse. “But have you forgotten that lovely pile over there under the dead leaves?”
Sly had forgotten all about them “Where are they?” he said eagerly. “You can have them all,” said the dormouse they are just over there,” So Sly bounded over to the pile and brushed aside the leaves. He cracked the nuts hungrily. But alas for the poor squirrel! Every nut was bad, every single one! The little mouse ran up and the nuthatch flew down. “What’s the matter?” they said as they saw Sly throwing away one nut after another without eating it. “Bad, bad, all bad!” said Sly. “Why did you collect all bad nuts you silly stupid things?”
The nuthatch whistled and the mouse squealed with laughter. “Silly yourself! It was you who collected that pile of nuts and gave them to us. Don’t you remember?” And then at last Sly did remember! Yes he had picked all those bad nuts, with holes in it, to give the nuthatch and the dormouse a really horrid shock. The nuthatch and the dormouse went off laughing. “Serves you right!” they cried.
So Sly the squirrel had to go hungry all that winter, and if the little mouse hadn’t been kind and given him a few of his own nuts, he would have starved. I don’t think he’ll play a trick like that again, do you?
Nothing like a bit of Karma hey.
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