The Fox and the Crow

Lilla Rogers' MATS A class ran over a 5 week period, so there is a lot of ground to cover.  Another one of our projects was to create a book cover for the Aesop Fable, "The Fox and the Crow".  In the story, the vain crow has a piece cheese.  The sneaky fox wants that piece of cheese and schemes to take it from the crow.  He tells the bird to sing because he loves to hear her beautiful voice (ha!), when she opens her mouth to sing, the cheese falls out of her mouth and the fox makes off with it.  

My goal was to illustrate the entire story with just one image.  I tried to keep it sparse, yet to the point.  The bird is dressed up in her finest hat complete with netting and wearing her sparkly blue eyeshadow and false lashes.  

The cunning dapper fox wears a three-piece suit and bowler hat with a feather tucked into the band.  His whiskers are the animal equivalent of a John Waters-esque pencil mustache.  He wears a monocle but he's clearly a dubious dandy.  Initially I did a quick little fox study to figure him out but in the end I knew I wanted him to be in a fancy suit.

fox study_mara penny.jpg

I always look at new projects as little puzzles to solve, this was no exception.  I only wanted to use a few "objects" on the page but I wanted them to be rich with interest.  I kept it minimal, only the text, the fox, the singing crow, the piece of cheese and two matching branches.  I also stuck with a pretty tight color palette.  I wanted it to feel slightly sinister, yet still be bright and alluring enough for kids to want to pick it up to read the story.

I really loved this assignment, hopefully it shows.