This illustration is probably my favourite one from Charlie's Dirt Day because I included lots of personal touches. Several of the characters in this spread made appearances in my first picture book, Bye, Bye Butterflies, such as the lady in the yellow cardigan on the left, the little boy pulling the wagon and the little girl in the right corner with the green ribbon in her hair. I thought it would be nice for the children who were familiar with the other book to make those connections.
In Bye, Bye Butterflies, the lady in the yellow cardigan appeared on the opening spread. I used the pattern in her shirt to reference an upcoming event in that book. Her shirt had butterflies on it. In Charlie's Dirt Day, I used the pattern in her dress in the same way.
The little boy pulling the wagon is actually based on my husband. He used to work for Apple as an iPhone technician and wore a dark blue shirt with an apple on it. I lightened the shirt and substituted a different kind of fruit. I'd also like to draw your attention to the words on the side of the wagon. My husband's name is Dario.
There is a mom in a green dress, a dad in a green hat and a little girl in a red dress at the top left. They're based on my friends, Kelci Hind and Colin Leach and their daughter, Juniper. Kelci and Colin own The Silk Road Spice Merchant and have been extremely supportive of my illustrative career and my previous book.
The woman in the red dress in the top right is based on my friend, illustrator Karen Klassen.