Red Wagon

Renata Liwska | Philomel 2010

It’s no secret that Renata Liwska is one of my favorite illustrators at the moment. With a follow-up book to The Quiet Book, Renata has come back with another tale with a cast of anthropomorphic characters on a magical journey in Lucy’s red wagon. Red Wagon is page after page of spry little beings—each standing upright on their hind legs dressed for that moment’s particular predicament. While we are accustomed to animals as humans, Renata’s are in a league of their own. It’s how she captures them mid-step or mid-air in their group effort to move their wagon along. However, the real life is in their eyes and precious expressions—fret, surprise, delight, confidence, and general mischief are all present in her delicate graphic marks.

Renata kindly shared a few of her Moleskine sketches and a brief note about her casting process.

“As you can see, bunny became a raccoon. Bear didn’t make the cast, raccoon got the part instead. And some scenes were shot on green screen.”

No doubt her auditions are rigorous and getting tougher.

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