Tag Archives: illustration for kids


(c) 2013 Jan Dolby

…one of my most favourite illustrations that I created a few years ago. Halloween skipping.
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illustration friday – underwater

(c) 2013 Jan Dolby
….my ugly fish.

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hiding behind asparagus…

(c) 2013 Jan Dolby

she doesn’t think anyone can see her….another monster that digs vegetables.

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Gabby Drama Queen sketches….

(c) 2013 Jan Dolby

…a couple of sketches from Gabby Drama Queen to be released this fall 2013.

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a sweet little rough….

(c) 2013 Jan Dolby

a rough drawing of Gabby for book number 2.

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it’s an orange cat….

(c) 2010  Jan Dolby

…some cat poses…..acrylic paint on canvas
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Interview with up-and-coming literary starlet – Gabby!


Joyce and Gabby interview; by Jan Dolby, based on a photo by Robert Gagnon 
Joyce Grant and Gabby take a time-out from their lunch to chat about their upcoming book – and Gabby’s fabulous hair; illustration by Jan Dolby, based in part on a photo by Robert Gagnon.

Gabby is the main character in Joyce Grant’s new children’s picture book (illustrated by Jan Dolby and published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside). She recently agreed to chat with Joyce Grant about the new venture.

JG: Gabby—may I call you that?—it’s so wonderful to talk to you in person. After all, you’ve been in my head for so long.

G: My full name is Gabriella, but almost no one calls me that so please do call me Gabby. And yes, it’s great to finally be out of there—it was a bit cramped.

JG: Well, there’s lots of other stuff in there and I won’t apologize for that.

G: Streetcars? Chefs?

JG: Right. Sorry about that. They’re from a couple of other books I’m working on. They’ll be gone soon—I hope. But let’s talk about your book. You’re the star! Are you excited?

G: It is exciting! I was especially thrilled when our editor, Christie, suggested naming the book after me. I can’t wait to see my name on the cover.

JG: And your picture, too! Would it surprise you to know that your name was nearly Sarah?

G: What?!

JG: Well, when I first wrote the book it was called, “Sarah Makes Friends,” after a girl I know. And then Christie and Cathy (from the publisher) met with me for a coffee at Starbucks and we discussed other names. You were also nearly Fanny!

G: I’m speechless. I’m so clearly “Gabby.”

JG: Yes, I agree. And part of the reason for that is that Gabby is kind of a quirky name. Would you say you are quirky?

G: People call me that, certainly. I think they mean that I sometimes look at things a little differently. And I do agree with that.

JG: Can you give us an example?

G: It’s mostly about letters and words. For instance, you’re wearing a T-shirt. So I’m asking, “What does the T stand for? Is it ‘Tea shirt’—like one you’d wear while you’re drinking tea? (It would account for that stain, Joyce.) Or is it a Tee-shirt like you’d wear on a golf course? I mean, what’s the T for?”

JG: Well that certainly is a unique perspective. Oh, here’s our appetizer.

G: Alphabet soup—my favourite! Letters you can eat. How perfect is that?

JG: Yes, stop playing with it, though. You’re getting it all over the…

G: See, if you put these letters together…

JG: Gabby, you’re splashing soup everywhere!

G: …just need another L for G-a-b-r-i-e-l-l-a

JG: Gabby, can we please talk about something else? I just love your signature red hair. It’s so “you.”

G: Thank you. And I don’t even have a stylist. I just get up in the morning and stick it in ribbons… really I just let it do whatever it wants. In fact, that’s my attitude towards life in general. Go with the flow.

JG: It certainly seems to work for you.

G: Yes. How else could I get two warring species to become friends?

JG: Now, Gabby, don’t spoil the ending for people!

G: Hey, it’s not every day a kid helps to thwart thousands of years of evolution.

JG:Thwart”? You do love words, don’t you?

G: Speaking of words, look at what I’m spelling in my alphabet soup!*

JG: Gabby, I think this interview is just about over, don’t you? Is there anything you’d like to say in conclusion?

G: Well, just buy my book, please.

JG: Well, it’s your book and it’s my book and Jan’s book and Fitzhenry & Whiteside’s book. In any case, this seems like a good note to end on. Thank you very much, Gabby.

G: Thank you. And you just ended a sentence with a preposition, Joyce.

JG: On which to end, then. Gabby—stop splashing!

G: G’bye!

JG: G’bye!

* “Fitzhenry.” She spelled Fitzhenry.

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G is for….

…Gabby promoting the letter ‘G’..for girl, girlfriend, goat, giraffe, greatness, guppy, giant, gorgeous, giggle, goodness, guinea pig, grapes, green, groundhog, gerbil and so on….

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trick or treats….

(c) 2012 Jan Dolby

….my son Jack decorates our house for Halloween….he’s so looking forward to making it even scarier than last year.  Will post photos of the house as
soon as it’s ready.  It’s a long decorating process.

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I love Halloween….

(c) 2012 Jan Dolby

(c) 2012 Jan Dolby
….I love everything about Halloween.  It’s all so magical, spooky,
colourful, candyful.  Good fun stuff.
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