In the middle of the night, a scared king sends his three knights to find a nightmare dragon. Armed with an axe, a sword, and a candle the three knights venture through the dark after an unknown shape only to find out that they are also really scared.
With a great story and fun to read aloud rhymes Where Is the Dragon? explores the well known aspect of being afraid of the dark. Fun, cleverness and rhythm make this the perfect book for bedtime!
What brought me to this book was not only the beautiful illustrations, but the fun game of trying to guess what is coming next. Every page the knights encounter a big shape with what appears to be spikes, sharp teeth, or wings. All is really scary until they come closer with the candle. From sleepy animals to big leafy trees, the outcome is always surprising! Such a clever way to show how the imagination can take over when we are scared, making fear our worst enemy.
The carefully executed illustrations are an example of how a well thought illustration process can make a picturebook outstanding. The whole play between light and dark itself is in worthy of an award. The highlights on the knights’ faces, the shine that comes from the carrots and the texture on the armour are just like candy for the eyes — and a whole feast for an illustrator like me.
In an Instagram takeover at @geckopress, Timmers talked about his character sketches and background creation. Painting a white ground before applying colour was one of Timmers’ amazing technical solutions to create contrast and make everything look radiant under the candle light.
He also talked about the indispensable creation of the dummy and how important it was for him to be able to compare and decide the best ending. “You have to stay open to new ideas until the very end. Dummies help, because they force you to reflect and compare with previous versions.”, says Timmers.
And yes, the ending is the best part! Shhh! Go find out.
Find Leo Timmers’ Instagram takeover at @geckopress