I was commissioned to illustrate a fascinating and thrilling children’s book about a community of organisms which colonize an abandoned oil rig, written by a friend and very talented author named Sue Partenheimer. I illustrated one black and white portrait of each character as well as one larger, colored illustration of a scene from each chapter. In this post, I have summarized the stories which surround the illustrations I have done, but I don’t do Sue’s incredible story justice. You absolutely must read it yourselves!
Here are the illustrations of the main scenes in the book, along with a quick description of the chapter. The protagonists' portraits for each chapter are displayed on the right.
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The CASTOR OIL RIG TALES:
Illustrating a Marine Biology Children's Book
Introducing our cast of characters:
the precocious, bubbly young coral polyp.
MEET the Crevette family
an industrious bunch of cleaner shrimp who ironically enjoy gumbo.
MEET Pierre Gustave Toutant
the tiny runt of his turtle litter, a kind-hearted green sea turtle
the wise octopus with a heart and arms of gold, who is no stranger to the strange ways of humans from his time in captivity on the oil rig
the wise sea turtle who has traveled the world and who also.. turns out to be Toot's long lost mother!
an old, well-traveled brown pelican whose wings and travel stories have always awed little Toot.
a very small seahorse who is rescued by Toot and becomes his faithful pet and companion
MEET The Baron
a fearsome barracuda who is bravely rescued by little Caliscia Crevette who risks her life removing a hook from his lip.
a tiny snail and the town mayor, who resourcefully recycles trash he finds in the dead zone
MEET THE COEALACANTHs
Taharqa, Swahila, & Tiye
a family of coelacanths escaped from South Africa where they had been discovered after a long period of living under the radar.