Draft illustration for the last page of A Pocket for Corduroy. The published version is somewhat different. This draft text reads:
“I always wanted a pocket with a card inside,” said Corduroy as they nuzzled noses. “Now I know who I am. I’m Lisa’s bear!”
The card that Lisa is handing Corduroy reads:
Don and Lydia often spent hours, even days and weeks together (and if the book was submitted, with the editors) to get the text just right. Often Lydia was the one who came up with the final text. In this case of the last page for Pocket, another version of the text was chosen in the end. I personally prefer this ending. Which version do you like better?
Click here to download a pdf of this image (ca. 7.5 MB).
The original illustrations for Corduroy and A Pocket for Corduroy are at the The Children’s Literature Research Collections, University of Minnesota for researchers to study. As stated in the webpage “Published Books”, Don produced all his illustrations himself, the full four color separations, by hand. (This means that each illustration is actually four black illustrations, one for each color: red, yellow, blue and black, each one on a separate transparent sheet. ) Each one of his books was illustrated in a slightly different way, he never did the same thing twice! The illustrations for Pocket are exceptional in that the originals were done with color wash in a very spontaneous way. For instance, the outlines of the individual figures of the four (black) transparencies do not line up exactly. This Don did on purpose! Somehow he could see the final image that the four colors would produce when all were overlaid together in the final printing. To make sure that the final printing came out the way he wanted, Don would go to the press when the final print was to be done. He did this also for Pocket of course. He died in New York of a heart attack on the evening of the day he had been at the presses for Pocket and okayed the final colors. He never saw the final published book.