Tom Sawyer

     This is my entry for the Tomie de Paola Award contest for SCBWI. This year's exciting challenge was to create an image for one of three stories in black and white. I chose The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain.

     It was difficult to pick just one passage from the whole book. There are so many exciting scenes to draw ideas from. I based my illustration from the text where he and his friends run away to become pirates.
     "Tom knew of the perfect hideout–a small, uninhabited island out in the Mississippi River called Jackson's Island. He and Joe sought out Huck Finn and invited him to join them on this wild adventure. . . .  Each would bring fishing hooks and lines and as much food and provisions as he could steal.
     It was a starry and very still night as Tom made his way out of the village. The mighty river lay like an ocean at rest. . . .
     The boys loaded their provisions onto a small raft tied up on the bank, and they pushed silently away from shore."

     Huck Finn on the far left is the "town innocent". He is uneducated, scrappy, awkward and homeless. I gave him a stooped posture to emulate his low ranking and a look of awe at what Tom is telling him. He turns out however, to be an asset on the adventure because of his skills at roughing it. Which the other two are not accustomed to.

     Tom Sawyer, being a smart Alec, comes up with the idea for the adventure. He knows the way to this mysterious island and leads the other two to it. I set an vignette of Jackson's Island on the adjacent page for them to go to.

     Little Joe Harper, is stooped down and busy fishing because his role in the scene is not as active as the interaction between the other two rascals. He is the first to get homesick in the following pages, even though they have had lots of fun fishing, eating fried catfish, swimming and doing whatever they please.