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Characters not mentioned in a manuscript

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I know its quite common to have a pet or critter in a PB that is in the illustrations but not in the text. Does this ever work with people? I'm contemplating adding a family to my ms, but don"t want to complicate the text with multiple characters.

Can you think of any examples? Or is it a big no no?
#1 - May 03, 2016, 05:06 PM
https://marlalesage.com/
PIRATE YEAR ROUND (Acorn Press, 2019)

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I can't think of any examples off the top of my head, but don't see why you couldn't include a family in the illustrations. The important thing is whether it works or not and whether it's adding to the story or not. If not, take them out. If so, leave them in,
#2 - May 03, 2016, 06:45 PM
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picture book: EWE AND AYE (now available as an ebook!)

I don't think it is always the case, but many times when a character or storyline shows up in the illustrations that isn't in the text, the illustrator has created that character or storyline. But if you have ideas for an illustrated aspect of a story, you could likely include it in notes.
#3 - May 03, 2016, 09:11 PM

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I'm the illustrator too! I think I'll sketch them in and then see if the text fits or needs tweaking.
#4 - May 04, 2016, 03:30 AM
https://marlalesage.com/
PIRATE YEAR ROUND (Acorn Press, 2019)

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I have an unpublished picture book that has a characters that appear in the illustrations but who don't otherwise speak. I don't have very specific illustration notes about them, allowing the illustrator to fill in that part, but they are meant as a counterpoint to the main character's action and thoughts.

Of course, this book is unpublished so take that as it is!
#5 - May 04, 2016, 04:45 AM
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Uh-Oh by Shutta Crum and Patrice Barton comes to mind. It's almost wordless, so it might not be what you're looking for as a model. The book is about two toddlers on an adventure. Their mothers are in the background watching over them but not otherwise involved.
#6 - May 04, 2016, 06:10 AM
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Marla, since you are also illustrating, I don't see why you can't have it pitch perfect! I love it when the illustrations have a parallel storyline. The best I can think of is in concept books where the text is on the concepts (shapes, alphabet, etc.) but the illustrations have a child, critter or family that is doing something in the background related to that concept.

Vijaya
#7 - May 04, 2016, 06:12 AM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
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We're Going on a Bear Hunt comes to mind.
#8 - May 04, 2016, 06:27 AM

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great suggestions!
#9 - May 04, 2016, 06:53 AM
https://marlalesage.com/
PIRATE YEAR ROUND (Acorn Press, 2019)

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