Bev and Kev

Written by Katrina Germein and Published by Little Book Press in hardback and paperback 2022.

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Bev is tall and Kev is small. An unlikely pair!
Could this be the beginning of a very big friendship?
A heart-warming tale about learning to love yourself
and the value of a true friend.

This story was such a joy to illustrate. I feel like I've come full circle going back to the days of illustrating for the Adelaide Zoo. I just love drawing African animals and to be able to work on a text written by such a skilled Author as Katrina, is an absolute dream.

Drawing Activity - How to draw an Elephant from behind. Elephants are basically pears with ears and legs. Download drawing guide.

In my school workshops I often talk to students about Authors being able to 'leave room for the illustrator' and this is a classic example of that. Katrina gave me room to move within this story. For example, the opening lines:

Bev was tall.
The animals were always telling her so.

By not specifying which animals they were, I was able to really explore what to include. So yes, you will find Zebras and Elephants in this book but you'll also find Okapi, Red River Hogs and Secretary Birds. My goal here was to enable children to learn more about the incredible animals Africa is home to; to expand upon the ones we most often refer to as African animals.

There is such a thing as an African Peguin and they are adorable.

The artwork was created with a mixture of mediums. All the characters were traditionally painted with a combination of acrylic inks and watercolour, with details added in pencil and chalk pastel pencil.
If I hopefully get to meet you in one of my talks or workshops and I have one of these paintings with me (as I often bring the originals), you'll see Bev has a sparkle to her coat. This is thanks to the metallic in the acrylic inks - it doesn't show up in the book but it sure looks magic on the originals!

The backgrounds were made through firstly creating textured paper by hand (a lot of different textures) and then studying each and every one to determine which would best suit the required background for the spread - broad lines resembled tree trunks for the opening spread; more of a scattered texture mimicked the desert when Bev had left the jungle. Extra details were then hand drawn in where required and a colour overlay applied digitally. It's a time consuming process, especially when the texture making part is so unpredictable but the results are well worth it - providing a simple yet visually intriguing background which allows the characters to shine.

I hope you enjoy the journey of Bev and Kev.