(click images to enlarge)
I usually don't write much, or anything at all, about these. But there's a lot going on here, both on and off the page, so I thought I'd add a little more to this post.
The biggest thing about the page is that it's totally inspired by Maxfield Parrish. I had just finished a book with his illustrations for The Knave of Hearts when this page came up to draw. The arched windows, the color of the sky beyond, and the checkered jester outfit all are a tribute to his paintings.
But besides his example, there are some other things. Everyone eats with chopsticks, for example (except for Anna, since she's based on my youngest. So they gave her a fork). Also, the rabbit is being pulled out of a Greek helmet instead of a hat. I liked making him a particularly grumpy rabbit at that, despite the magician's obvious good humor.
What isn't on the page is more relevant to my daughter. When I was sketching upcoming characters, I realized that they were all male. I considered making another minor character female, it just seemed like it wasn't enough (in fact, he's such a minor character that his name is Mynor. He'll be showing up sooner or later). As I was drawing the king of the Island, two things occurred to me: one, he was starting to look an awful lot like the Ghost of Christmas Present in Dickens, and two, there was no reason why Hero Island couldn't have a queen.
Still, this is a story for my daughter, so I decided to ask her if she would like the island to have a king or a queen. To my surprise, she said a king. When I asked why, she said it was because kings said more interesting things than queens. I asked her if I made the queen say interesting things, which would she want? She said in that case, definitely a queen.
I'm happy I'm able to give a positive example here at the Lunch Note Project. While I would have always hoped to have provided good role models for my daughter with my stories, I never expected to have such a direct result!