Charles by S.E. Hume

In 2017, I was hired by Fitzhenry & Whiteside to illustrate Charles, a children’s book written by Stephen Hume. The book follows the story of an abandoned baby crow who is rescued and raised by a young girl.

From the publisher:

“Charles is a remarkable baby crow who has lost his mother. This is his story, and the story of his rescuer, intermixed with the story of some strawberries they shared. At times funny and whimsical, it is also a story of the power of the natural world and the ties of love that are never broken. In writing the story, Hume was inspired by his memories of taking care of an injured crow when he was growing up on a farm. Jessica Bartram’s classic illustrations amply reflect the grace and timelessness of this tale.”

From Kirkus Reviews:

“Writing in the voice of the unnamed narrator, Hume delivers a tender story about raising an abandoned baby crow. The narrator lives in a home surrounded by the natural world, brought to lush life by Bartram’s enchanting, accurate illustrations (baby crows do have blue eyes), which are done in a rich, nature-hued palette and feature simple shapes decorated with patterns found in nature—such as the spores on fern fronds. The shapes and patterns against the white space of the page thoughtfully integrate the story’s theme by bringing attention to nature’s inherent order and harmony…”  — read more

Charles has 15 full-colour illustrations across its 34 pages, all of which were painted with watercolour and gouache.

Charles is available in independent bookstores in Canada as well as online via Indigo and Amazon.