January 18, 2009


A number of scenes in Koda call for a little dog named honey. Because my model was going to pose with a real foal, and I was not sure how he would react to a dog, I went out and bought a stuffed puppet that was pretty life-like. The foal thought so, too, as you can see in the picture! On the way home from taking the photos I noticed a woman walking a dog that was a spitting image of the stuffed dog and would be perfect for the character of the dog Honey in the story. I pulled my car over, jumped out and approached the woman with my story. Yes, at first I'm sure she thought I was a total nutcase! But I whipped out the toy dog from the car as proof, gave her my card and she believed my story finally. I had my camera and quickly shot the dog from the same angle I had shot the girl with the foal. And voila, instant reference for my illustration! This one is just a rough sketch. I have until May to finish the pictures.

Here is our horse Gabe and my daughter Whitney giving him direction for posing in one of the KODA scenes. He was such a ham, we could tell he just loved modeling. The drawing is not quite finished.

This is one of the finished illustrations in the book where Koda the foal meets his sire.

KODA will be out in the fall (09)

Happy trails -



  1. How lovely to have horses that model for you! I've just finished co-illustrating the 8th book in a series on flying fairy horses (for Feiwel & Friends/Breyer). *That* has been a challenge! Not so many horse photos out there in 'flying' poses (jumping just isn't the same!). Especially with Breyer watching over your shoulder for anatomical accuracy!

    This series looks lovely. I love the ancient Icelandic topic!

  2. I home school my daughter and we just found out about your wonderful books. What a great way to teach History for someone who loves horses! we are so excited !