Narwhal Plays the Nyckelharpa


I thought it would be fun to do an alphabet book. At first I thought about animals in my silhouette style, but there are so many animal ABCs out there already. Then William came up with a crazy idea - a tiny ant playing an enormous alphorn. Before long we had come up with half a dozen animals with matching instruments, and I wrote out a list, with quite a few gaps...

I have always been interested in all sorts of musical instruments (the more obscure the better), but one problem was that I had decided that the animals had to use a capital letter and the instruments a lower-case letter. That meant I couldn't use any "Irish" instruments (harp, bouzouki, pipes) for the letter "i", or "Jew's harp" for "j". I finally settled on an Ibis playing an ipu (Hawaiian gourd drum) and a Jaguar playing a jug.

There had to be some reason WHY all these beasties were playing instruments, and at the end you see them all together. There is no indication of what sort of music they are playing - that's up to the reader's imagination.

The majority of the instruments were hand-traced from photos, while the animals were drawn freehand as usual, using the mouse. The alphorn, ipu and maracas were drawn from my imagination, and the flute was traced from a 3D computer model to get the angle right.

Oh, and there is a little joke in there for those of you who remember a certain band from Liverpool. Check out letter "B"...

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