As I mentioned before, I recently attended the NJ SCBWI conference. As part of the Illustrator Intensive, we were given an assignment to illustrate a passage from one of the manuscripts. The manuscript that I chose was "When I Grow Up" by Al Yankovic and it was given by Martha Rago, Art Director of HarperCollins Children's Books. It was a real pleasure to meet her and be in several of her workshops. She truly has a passion for children's books and gave us very interesting insights into the publishing industry. I especially enjoyed her telling us of all the steps involved in selecting an illustrator and working with illustrator from character studies to sketches, to revisions, more revisions, final sketches, color comps and final images. Lots and lots of work goes into publishing a book.
The manuscript is actually a published book and is beautifully illustrated by Wes Hargis. He has one of the sharpest senses of humor I've seen in an illustrator. At the time we got the assignment, I didn't know that the book was already illustrated, and was not influenced by the existing illustration.
Anyway, the manuscript is simply the best. It so beautifully absurd, just my cup of tea. I hope that one day I will have a chance to work on such a hilarious and imaginative book.