Bed Book peek – parrot and sheep

Today, I am excited to share a couple of animals, which will be used as spot illustrations in my upcoming book MY BED. The story about children’s sleeping places in different cultures around the world is written by Rebecca Bond and will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Sept. 2020.

Update: Signed copies of My Bed can be ordered in my shop here. Watch this 8 minute documentary about how I created the illustrations for the book.

In addition to creating full page illustrations, I’m making a series of animal icons that will appear on the adjacent text panels throughout the book. The miniature stuffed animals  relate to the geographic area of each corresponding scene. Other animals in the series that I’ve written about so far are:
elephant and goldfishrooster, cat, duck, bunnygiraffecrocodilecow, dog and camel.

These little animals bring back memories of the late 70’s, when I made a line of fabric pins. Of course, what I’m making today is much more intricate, but they are similar in size and concept.

This green parrot goes with the South American scene .

After doing photo research and drawing a simple parrot shape, I cut out pieces of felt and began embroidering feathers.

I formed the outline of the parrot’s beak with wire. Its eye is a glass seed bead, set inside a cut out hole.

I wrapped the beak with embroidery floss.

Then I added bird’s feet made of floss wrapped wire.

The sheep will go with the scene set in Afghanistan. In my research, I found pictures of local breeds with particularly long faces and ears.

The sheep’s legs are made with a pipe cleaner, using the same basic technique that used for the dolls in my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk. It’s face is embroidered wool felt, with seed bead eyes.

Luckily, I had some wool yarn of the right natural shade for the fleece. It was fun to make a tangled mess of french knots.

Then, I sewed on it’s ears, hiding the ends on the top with wool yarn. I’ll be sharing more animals (and scenes) as the book progresses. 

Here are links to posts about other illustrations I’ve finished for the book: AfghanistanSouth America, Japan and India.

To keep up with new posts, subscribe to this blog (top right column on the home page). If you’d like to see more frequent photos tracking the projects in my studio, please follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram.

8 thoughts on “Bed Book peek – parrot and sheep

  1. I imagine your studio is a lively place at night, when you’re sleeping. The smile on that sheep’s face belies knowledge of high spirits. I’m sure there are hi-jinks going on. All kids know how to fake sleep as the light is turned off…

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