Oink is a simple little book based on the idea of intonation… how the same words (or in Oink’s case, animal noises) can mean different things depending on how they are said. “Moo?” can mean “Hi, can I get in too” or “Mooooo!” – “How dare you!” The clues are in the expression on the face, the body language and the situation. 

It began with a very quick rough layout called “Maa, Moo, Heehaw, Oink” and seemed to work very well with my initial quick sketches. However when I tried to do the finished art it took me a long time to capture the same simplicity in the drawings to suit the idea behind the story.
Since it's really all about how we invest our words with meaning by how we say them, it is fun to try and see what we can do with these moos and maas . It can even work as a little performance with nominated readers speaking the animal parts...
Oink roughs

Maa rough – Maa, Moo, Heehaw, Oink


Maaa? – final art


Mooooo! – Final art

Oink is my first book with the highly esteemed Gecko Press and turned into a wonderful collaboration with the team there, especially the designer Vida Kelly.
Oink has been given starred reviews in both Kirkus Magazine and Publisher’s Weekly. It also received an extremely positive review in the New York Times (22/03/19):
Gorgeous Books to Expand the Youngest Minds

Elliot’s funny story is told in animal sounds and onomatopoeia (“Moo!” and “Boing!”). One by one, unruly animals join a pig in his bathtub. Pig looks distraught, then angry, until he creates a tub-clearing moment (think unidentified bubbles) and enjoys his bath in peace. The delicacy and subtlety of the art only adds to the frisky humor.

Published by Gecko Press

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