Picture book breakdown with David Hohn on May 27!

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    Hi all! If you are into picture books, you might want to check out our first ever picture book breakdown on May 27!

    This is where we pick a favorite picture book and analyze the storytelling from the illustrator point of view🤔🎨

    @davidhohn has been doing these for years as a teacher, so he will be walking us through this time.

    We'll be reviewing the Caldecott-winning “The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend” by Dan Santat.

    The LIVE event kicks off at 2pm MST on Thursday, May 27. We’ll be emailing the event link to subscribers on May 26 or 27.

    If you haven't received an event link email, shoot us an email, or look for it in the Jump Into the Studio class🙌

  • SVS Instructor Pro

    @LisaF This is an event that I've been wanting to do for years! Really pleased to share it with everyone at SVS. Beekle is SUCH a smart book, it should be a lively discussion. If you're a fan, geek out with us, if you are new to this book, come and discover a depth you might not have known was there!

  • @davidhohn @LisaF Thank you for setting this up! I love going into the depths of a book (and such a brilliant book!). Looking forward to many "WOAHs!" and "AAAHs!" during the deep dive 😄

  • This event sounds awesome! I realize it is live, but is there any chance it will be recorded and shared afterwards? I live on the other side of the world and probably cannot attend live. : ( if not, no worries. Just glad it’s happening!

  • @artofdavey "If you haven't received an event link email, shoot us an email, or look for it in the Jump Into the Studio class🙌" -I think it'll show up in here (look for the link in the top post).

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @artofdavey yes, we plan to record it and put it in the subscription 😊 👍

  • This is awesome @davidhohn! I’m definitely looking forward to geeking out on Beekle, especially since it’s one of my favorite picturebooks by Mr. Santat.

    I’ll be doing the page turn with my copy 😊


  • @davidhohn I just discovered this book earlier this month at an SVS concert (it was published right before I jumped back into picture books with my niece and now children). Immediately, it became the shining example of the picture book I want to write. Great choice!

  • I'm SO looking forward to geeking out over Beekle with y'all!

  • SVS OG

    This was one of the best sessions yet! I took five pages of notes and feel turbocharged, if a bit sleep-deprived! 😆 And it fits in so well with the Children's Book Pro class. Thanks, @davidhohn!

  • This was absolutely amazing. I was so wowwed the entire time!!

    I have to say that when I started the classes at svs 2 months ago, I wasn't sure if I wanted to do children's books. Although I like it, what I knew was that I wanted a good school where I could learn the basics of illustration with a steady pace and without needing to be lost trying to find what I needed to know, and after seeing all the classes I realised that one way or another, I had that here. I do write stories and novels so the link between illustration and story was interesting to me either way.

    Seeing this book breakdown though... I'm still a bit without words, but I can only say that it was one of those changing points inside of me, and I'm now feeling that yes, I want to do children's books!!

    Thank you so much.

  • Hi @davidhohn, I did a page turn of Beekle with my wife and daughter to share all the insights and Easter eggs throughout the book and noticed one more!

    Check out the little girl with the snake friend and jump rope on the end sheets. Striking resemblance to the unnamed girl in his book Oh No! (Or how my science project destroyed the world) written by Mac Barnett.

    Interestingly, the #4 on her shirt in Beekle may reflect the 4 years between publishing Oh No! (2010) and Beekle (2014).

    Things that make you go hmmmm. Next time you talk to Dan, you should ask him if it’s the same girl (smile).

    Looking forward to the next Picturebook Geek out session.

  • @LisaF is the session recorded and will be made available for svs subscribers under Jump Into The Studio course? I missed the live session.

  • SVS Instructor Pro

    @Jeremy-Ross Pretty cool man! I always think stuff like this is really fun!

  • @LisaF Sorry to keep bothering you about this, but will the lecture be added to SVSlearn? I’m keep checking Jump into the Studio but can not find it…

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @xin-li and @joosterwijk sorry for the delay! We actually had some technical issues with recording the livestream, but @davidhohn was gracious enough to re-record it! (Thanks David!!) You can find it now in the Jump into the Studio class in the subscription🙌

    And just fyi, he may be doing another one of these soon, stay tuned for details!

  • Thank you! @davidhohn Really awesome that you re-recorded it for us and the lecture is amazing. I have some thoughts after listening to your analysis, if someone disagrees let me know!
    Beekle is Alice and Beekles journey is Alice’s journey. First of all, it is Alice who creates Beekle and draws out his story as you can see on page 34-37, she uses elements of her surrounding to create this fantasy world. The parts of the playground are turned into the island and into the journey (and not the other way round). The crown comes from the pencil box, the rainbow on the island from the rainbow she draws on the paper, etc. The tree is tricky, is the tree with beekle in it the real tree or a reprensentation of the tree Alice did draw ( the leaves have a form of a star…). Secondly, I think that she does not only makes up the story but it is also a story about her self. It is said that she had no friends, and story is about looking for a friend. And is the boy who Beekle thinks of on page 8 not the same boy who she become friends of in the end? The search for a friend in the playground on page 20 is Alice looking for a friend?
    Anyway.. super interesting. I’m really curious how he wrote this. Did he start with the story of beekle and than added layers and references over time? This is a fun story for kids and literature for adults all packed in a “simple” picture book! Love it!

  • @LisaF thank you so much Lisa, and thank you so much @davidhohn

  • @joosterwijk I just got to watching the picture book breakdown and I loved it, can’t wait for another one. I have a kid and for the last 12 years I have used this as a pretext to read children storybooks in the bookstore 🙂 I had similar thoughts on the book interpretation, I think it is about the fact that imagination can fill one’s life and can bring people together. Beekle is obviously an imaginary friend, and the title “unimaginary” I think means that products of the imagination can be powerful and real to the ones imagining them, and this is why the story presents the things kind of the other way around, turning the reality of Alice drawing and playing in her mind with Beekle to Beekle looking and finding Alice. And of course the details like the crown and the way the other imaginary friends are depicted are here to discreetly explain to the reader the more tangible part of what is happening - kids imagining stuff inspired by the thing they love and by their life, as you also said. And the end shows that creativity finally helps people connect.

    Really beautiful!

  • @joosterwijk You got me thinking about the tree… that part was indeed interesting, my interpretation is, beacause of the stars, like in the sky at the beggining over the island where the friends are born… the tree I feel is a stilised representation of abstract space in the mind, where the imagination grows it’s magic, and the place where Beekle is born. He can meet Alice only if she creates him in her imagination when she draws him on the piece of paper. That should explain why the tree pages are so flat, as they depict a more abstract place, not the real town, not the imaginary island. Maybe that is the place where the story actually starts, and the pages until then are the story Alice will in continuation imagine for Beekle 🙂

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