Follow the Yarn: A Book of Colors

Follow the Yarn: A Book of Colors cover
Cover of “Follow the Yarn: A Book of Colors,” a new board book to be released September 1, 2016.

The star of Follow the Yarn is Batman Wilcox-Warren. The idea for a concept book about colors, that would also be a game, had been kicking around my head for a few years, but I hadn’t found a kitten to photograph. Then my friend Bob told me his family had adopted a kitten. My first question was, “Can I come photograph your kitten playing with a ball of yarn?”

Batman playing with ball of yarn
Batman playing with ball of yarn

A few days later, I headed down the street with my camera equipment and a ball of yarn. My new lens turned out to be slow for Batman, a fast kitten, but I managed to get the shots I needed to illustrate the book.

Batman playing with ball of yarn
Batman playing with ball of yarn

Working with photographs of a black kitten wasn’t easy. I kept the kitten black to contrast the different colors of yarn. At first my illustrations were solid black, but I realized tones and details would help define the kitten’s body. While I was at it, I gave Batman a pair of blue contact lenses!

Interior spread from "Follow the Yarn" - orange
Interior spread from “Follow the Yarn: A Book of Colors”

White, the final color, was tricky, but when you look through the book, you’ll see my solution…and Batman doesn’t suddenly turn white, as in an early iteration.

Follow the Yarn is dedicated to Batman and Dipity. Now you know who Batman is, but who’s Dipity?

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Jane with Dipity
My sister, Jane, with Dipity

Growing up, near where my family lived, there was an egg farm. One day, we went to buy eggs and came home with a kitten! We named her Serendipity, which got shortened to Dipity, and, at times, Dip.

 

 

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