I build a dummy book by folding together sheets of drawing paper that match the vertical dimension of the book and double the horizontal dimension.  When assembled, the dummy has 32 pages.  Now I can draw fairly detailed pencil sketches on the pages.  I cut blocks of text from the manuscript and paste or tape the words where where they belong.

Here are a few sketches from the dummy book for, Cock-a-doodle-doo, Creak, Pop-pop, Moo

Sketch of mom frying bacon Sketch of boy chopping wood Sketch of rooster crowing


The picture book begins to take shape in the storyboard phase. This is where text separation and page format comes into focus. The illustrations at this stage are small and rough.

Storyboard sketch for picture book
Storyboard sketch for a spread in, COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO, CREAK, POP-POP, MOO

The spare text for, Cock-a-doodle-doo, Creak, Pop-pop, Moo doesn’t take up much space on the page, so it’s a great opportunity to jam pack every page with art!