current picture book project: Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates

It seems I alway have one foot in the current year (2015), and the other foot in some other era depending on whatever picture book I am working on! 


For example in 2012 – 2013 I was working on the intense illustrations for the picture book, The Fantastic Ferris Wheel (written by Betsy Harvey Kraft -release date October 2015 by Christy Ottaviano Books) -the true life story about American engineer George Ferris, creator of the first giant observation wheel built for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and nicknamed, of course, the Ferris Wheel! I was immersed in the iron and steel, steam powered world of 1890’s America… the fashions, architecture, and design of everyday objects like telephones, automobiles, phonographs, horse-drawn wagons, steam trains, etc…  See my earlier post on the making of the illustrations for The Fantastic Ferris Wheel


Then in 2014 and straddling into 2015, I was working on the illustrations for the upcoming picture book, The Kid from Diamond Street (written by Audrey Vernick -release date spring 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) which is the true life story about a girl from Philadelphia name Edith Houghton who at age ten (in 1922) became a professional baseball player! -and at age 13 (in 1925) played for an all-female American baseball team that toured Japan competing against their male teams. Later in her adult life Edith Houghton became the first female scout for Major League Baseball! So while working on the illustrations for that book my mind is filled with the fashions and automobiles of the roaring ’20’s decade. See my earlier post sneak peek at the cover of The Kid From Diamond Street


Now, suddenly, I am working on my next picture book project, Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates (written by April Jones Prince -release date 2017 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux) the whimsical retelling of the classic story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears… but this time with a fun pirate spin. So of course all during the preliminary sketch stage process my mind is filled with period sailing ships, cannons, swords, treasure chests, skull & crossbones, peg legs, and all the pirate era accessories… in an effort to bring my illustrative flavor to this tale. 


Posted here are a handful of the preliminary sketches and character studies. I just this week sent off all the final sketches to the editor on this book at Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Margaret Ferguson. So once the back and forth fine tuning of the sketches is concluded, hopefully in the beginning of November I’ll be commencing with the final illustrations. Once the entire illustration process is fully concluded, and submitted a more detailed posting on the sketches and final art images.

preliminary sketch: introducing the three menacing pirates

current picture book project: Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates
preliminary sketch: Goldenlocks is lured to the pirate’s sloop

current picture book project: Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates
preliminary sketch: the three pirates searching ship for the intruder

current picture book project: Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates
character study: developing Papa and Baby pirate

current picture book project: Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates
character study: developing Mama pirate

current picture book project: Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates
character study: developing Goldenlocks



And in-between all the above picture book projects, I also illustrated my very own story WILD CHILD …which was released by Abrams Books for Young Readers in August of 2015.


It’s the fun romp about the scariest animal of them all in the jungle -and how all the other animals do their best to try and tame it, otherwise there will never be any peace and quiet in the jungle ever again. To date I have illustrated 24 picture books, and Wild Child is the fourth book as both the author & illustrator. Here’s the cover!


current picture book project: Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates
WILD CHILD -written & illustrated by Steven Salerno



Visit my web site stevensalerno.com to view samples of my illustration work for advertising and editorial, as well as my many picture books for kids.

See full post here: Steven Salerno Blog2015-10-23.