This is the first drawing I drew for the Love of Reading series -- but I actually drew it in 2012. It's Throwback Thursday, right? But seriously, in 2012 I had this idea that I was going to draw several pictures of kids enjoying books and give them to my daughter's school, assuming her school wanted to have them. Then there were many other things that had to be done, and some things that I just wanted to do instead, and the project waited in the back of my head somewhere, until a few months ago.
What inspired this drawing:
1. The rise and fall of the color pink in elementary school. In my community, kindergarten is when pink is very much in vogue for girls, along with its BFF purple, and then pink teeters off of a precipice somewhere in first or second grade and it is considered passé (though there are some righteous individuals who wear what they like with confidence, well after kindergarten thankyouverymuch, and if they like pink then that's great).
I notice that people have Strong Feelings about pink, one way or another. Curiously, the people who are allergic to pink tend to be okay with purple even though it hangs out with pink a whole lot.
I imagine the kid in the picture has a fabulous closet, if not an entirely coordinated one. Her rain boots, they need not be the same pink as the other pinks in her outfit. What matters here is that a) they are some kind of pink and b) they have serious plans about jumping in every puddle from here to Punxsutawney.
2. Kate Bush. Seriously, Kate Bush. I listened to a lot of Kate Bush as a kid, because I had much older sisters who were way cool and they brought home many vinyl records of very intriguing music. If the TV wasn't on the turntable certainly was. My sisters were generally much more into New Wave than pop. Anyway, there was this song by Kate Bush called Cloudbusting that I really, really liked -- and still do -- and for decades I thought the opening line was "I still dream of Algernon," as in Flowers for Algernon. The correct lyric is truly "I still dream of Orgonon." I stayed true to my kid-self, drawing this: if you were to peel back layer by layer in Adobe Illustrator (and I often will draw almost every layer in full, despite knowing that great big chunks of almost every layer will eventually be covered up) you would see Algernon written on that book cover. Not Orgonon.
I have to say it was kind-of nice to be stuck musing on Algernon the laboratory mouse and wondering how he could connect in any way whatsoever with the government coming to arrest someone's daddy. Misheard lyrics are so fun. For example, my brother-in-law Ben used to think that a certain Stone Temple Pilots song went "feeling like a ham and roasted cheese." And a friend of a friend hilariously misheard Dead or Alive sing "you spin me right round, baby, right round, like a rented baby." Don't be afraid of little mistakes like this, kids. They can take you to such interesting places.