A large share of my early freelance work in the children's publishing industry was done for Scholastic. It was late-2004/early-2005, and the new editors at Scholastic India had just initiated an upgrade in their book production values (which were still a far cry from the beautifully-realized work being put out by their American and British divisions). I was a rookie illustrator, fresh out of design school, but these editors were kind enough to trust me with the drawing and redesign of their new titles. Here are a few illustrations, pages and covers from these books:
|A Friend Called Buddy, Scholastic India|
The above images are from a read-and-colour book called A Friend Called Buddy. Colour-in books at Scholastic were, until that point, poorly drawn, one-dimensional efforts held together by ill-conceived page and cover designs. My task was to bring more depth and detail to these books, and to enliven their style and design from cover to cover. The Peacock Who Forgot How to Dance (written by A. Edathatta) was another book I illustrated and designed in this series (see below).
|The Peacock Who Forgot How to Dance, Scholastic India|
My favourite Scholastic project, however, is The Insect Boy. This was written by Shobha Vishwanath, the founder and publisher of Karadi Tales (a publishing house that first gained widespread media coverage for their pioneering children's audio-books narrated by famous Indian stage and screen veterans). Shobha's text for The Insect Boy is lively, imaginative and hilariously alliterative - a joy to illustrate and lay out. Have a look at some of the pages from the book, below (brownie points for whoever spots the Monalisa first).
|The Insect Boy, Scholastic India|