Monday, 5 December 2016

Eyes-Only Advent Picture Book Quiz • Jonathan Emmett

December is here again! So, following on from last year's quiz I thought I'd test your picture book knowledge with another Advent-calendar-like picture book challenge.

When I first started out in children's books, I was illustrating as well as writing. One of the pieces of advice my first agent, Gina Pollinger, gave me at our very first meeting was to study the work of successful illustrators and – in particular – how they drew their characters' eyes. "It's important to get the eyes right," she told me, "if you don't, the character won't come alive and children will not believe in them." Although I never really made it as an illustrator, this is still an excellent piece of advice to any budding picture book illustrator.

So, for this year's quiz, how many of these classic picture book characters can you recognise from the eyes peeping out from the Christmas tree foliage below? Click on each image to reveal the answer. To make things a little more festive – there's a common theme to the even-numbered images.








8. (No – this one is not Homer Simpson's nipples!)



How did you do?

10/10Eagle-eyed: Brilliant! You have 20/20 picture book vision.
7-9/10An attentive pupil: A good effort. You know your Blake from your Briggs.
4-6/10Not bad looking: But perhaps you should add some new reading glasses to your Christmas list.
1-3/10Blinking awful: Are you sure you had your own eyes open?

Follow the fiendishly funny exploits of evil-eyed über-brat Bradley Bartleby in Jonathan Emmett's Christmas picture book, The Santa Trap, illustrated by Poly Bernatene and published by Macmillan Children's Books.

Find out more about Jonathan and his books at his Scribble Street web site or his blog. You can also follow Jonathan on Facebook and Twitter @scribblestreet.


Juliet Clare Bell said...

No! I was worse than I thought. I go two illustrators right (1 and 7), but guessed the wrong character as I couldn't quite tell which of their characters they were, and then there were two that I just thought I'd never seen before. One is one I'd read hundreds of times over the years (6 -it never, ever crossed my mind). The other was only from my FAVOURITE EVER PICTURE BOOK (no. 9) -which even if you'd said it to me before I pressed the picture I still wouldn't have understood. Epic fail, I think, as my children would say...

Pippa Goodhart said...

I got all but the Grinch and Spot the dog, and am now feeling happy. I NEVER do well in quizzes normally, so thank you, Jonathan!
That's wise advice about the importance of eyes.

Jonathan Emmett said...

8 and 6 are both respectable scores, Clare and Pippa – although the Grinch is the one I would definitely have got, having pored over it so many times with my kids. And I don't think I would have got 9 if someone else had set the quiz.

Paeony Lewis said...

Only four for me and that's DESPITE posting a blog at the Picture Book Den in early November on eyes in picture book illustration. So I'm visually doomed!

Michelle Robinson said...

Cool quiz. Plus, I'm clearly a geek as I thought it was EASY!

Moira Butterfield said...

Spot! of course! Easy now I know ; )

Emma Perry said...

hehehe this is such a fun idea!!!

malachy doyle said...

I got Gorilla...

Jonathan Emmett said...

Well, at least you'll be able to make some toast, Malachy. ;)

K.M.Lockwood said...

I recognised 7 of the artists/books but was rubbish on who the characters were.
Can't believe I couldn't tell Mr Magnolia's eyes!

Jane Clarke said...

Wow! Only failed to recognise one. Amazing that such 'simple' eyes taken out of context can instantly signal the character, hats off to all the illustrators out there.

Lucy Rowland said...

Great quiz!! Just passing time at the airport and this is keeping me very amused.I thought Spot was a MR Man though...Mr Happy! I need to keep studying!

Julie Fulton said...

Am ashamed to say I didn't get number 6 - amongst others! Great idea for a quiz. Thanks.