If you haven’t heard yet, the fourth book in the The Adventures of Boathouse Mouse is now available!!!! I have the honor and privilege of illustrating this book series with my friend and talented author, RV Hodge.
You may have noticed this book took a really, really long time to come out. In the four years since book three, I sold and bought a new house, had to completely remodel my new house’s basement to create a studio, and well…the world shut down and so did I for quite awhile. But here we are, and we are so, so excited to have this book completed!
If you’ve been around awhile, you know that I love including Easter Eggs in my books. I didn’t do it with book one, but two on? Full of them, and this book is no exception!
I always try to include whoever I dedicated the book to in my illustrations, and this book was very difficult for me to do that with. You see, I dedicated it to my paternal grandparents. They were my biggest fans, they helped put me through college, made sure I always had art supplies on hand and even got art lessons from my grandfather when I was younger. My biggest wish was that this book would have come out for them to see it…but unfortunately they both passed in late 2020 and early 2021. I included them on page 2 as the mouse couple looking at fish (their last name is Pike!), all of the boat flags are red (my grandfather’s favorite color, and he was in the Navy and Coast Guard), and my grandmother is also represented in the bouquet of daisies when Boathouse and Pierre are eating on the train (her favorite flowers).
This next Easter Egg also came during character creation, and this has been a big secret up until now! When I first read this book and read about Pierre, I just got an image in my mind of RV (the author) and what he would look like as a mouse. I gave him a mustache and a beard, and boom: we had Pierre. So RV, welcome to the Easter Egg Club! I was so glad you loved Pierre when I created him!!!
And of course, one of the biggest Easter Eggs is on Page 1! RV and his wife Jennie had asked if I could make Tom’s book one of RV’s books, either a Boathouse book or one of his Kingdom of the Falcon books, and I happily agreed!
There are too many to name. I am so happy with how about 95% of the illustrations turned out with this one. The illustration I was most excited to do was Pierre and Boathouse racing (or being dragged!) to meet the train, but the one I think I’m most happy with how it turned out is when Pierre and Boathouse are with Hugo. I was so nervous with that one because I’m so unfamiliar with all the tools and items needed for that scene and the space for the picture ended up being a lot smaller than I had wanted. But I think it turned out perfectly!
Favorite new character:
Okay so I love Pierre, he gets a huge role in this book. Hugo was my favorite new mouse to draw, but I loved drawing Pierre’s family, too. They don’t get names in the book, but I called them Mrs. Pierre, PJ (for Pierre Junior) and flip flopped between Cosette and Suzette for the daughter!
But. If you know me at all, you could probably pick out my favorite new character super easily, and RV, please bring him back (or a variation on him): THE PIGEON. He’s so derpy and cute and I adore him!
Okay you mean besides the whole four year gap and trying to get this done by Christmas this year? Page 17. Any scene that depicts a city is crazy hard. Perspective isn’t my favorite thing or even my strong suit. Figuring out what places looked like during this time period isn’t an easy task either. I put this one off until the very last illustration, and you know what happened? It went so much easier than I had anticipated. Just getting over my own mental blocks with this piece was the hardest!
Yep. I think this is the first book that I have a blooper and I didn’t realize it until way too late and didn’t have time to go back and fix it. It’s not anything major, but when Boathouse is eating with Pierre’s family, his hat is on the rack on the wall because he is a well-mannered mouse. Pierre’s hat is also hanging up, no big deal. But flip to the next page or two and both mice have their hats on again (because it’s easier to draw them regularly with their hats!). So I’m just going to pretend that when Boathouse got up to go look out the window, he grabbed his hat and Pierre followed suit. It’s not a big deal, but it makes me shake my head and sigh a little!
The Adventures of Boathouse Mouse Boathouse Misses the Boat is available in my Etsy shop here with the other three books in the series.
Let me know if you have any questions about the book! Do you like behind the scenes looks or Easter Eggs?