I always like to see the work of Kevin Waldron. His newest picture book, Harold’s Hungry Eyes (Phaidon Press, May 2016) is funny stuff. It’s the tale of a hungry dog, living in the city, who is “insatiably hungry. All of the time.” The only thing he likes about as much as he loves food is his comfortable chair, but one day, he discovers a garbage truck in the process of ditching his favorite place to sleep. After he heads outside to chase the truck, he becomes lost. And then his stomach rumbles: “Harold hadn’t had his breakfast!” His new goal, other than finding his way home, is to find food. And he sees food in nearly every nook and cranny of the city, his mind’s eye filled with veggies where a park is, pretzels where bicycle tires normally go, wafer cookies as steps, ice cream cones where stoplights would be, and much more.
Waldron created the artwork with pen, acrylic, and collage–all pulled together with a bit of a digital assist. There’s a great deal of humor in our unassuming hero, Harold, with his one-track mind. I’m particularly fond of the Waldron city landscapes here–streets drowning in shadows; the wobbly off-center buildings of a hungry dog’s world; the indistinct shapes of humans walking by, as Harold is lost and getting weaker with hunger. (Of course, the hunger is all a bit hyperbolic, which is where the humor lies; Harold’s tummy is probably quite full. It’s only breakfast he has missed, after all.) The palette is dominated by bright yellows, greens, and purples–with some deep grays for Harold’s more tragi-comic moments. It all works to great effect, and children will delight over Harold’s predicament–and the happy ending, which I won’t give away.
Here are some more spreads. Enjoy!
HAROLD’S HUNGRY EYES. Copyright © 2016 by Kevin Waldron. Published by Phaidon Press Limited, New York. Illustrations used by permission of Kevin Waldron.
Julie Davidson (Jules) conducts interviews and features of authors and illustrators at her acclaimed blog, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast,, a children’s literature blog primarily focused on illustration and picture books. The above blog was posted at 7-Imp on May 17, 2016.