All about books for kids, illustrated by Jim Harris.  Jim’s biography, tips for art students, advice and techniques for illustrating picture books. Jim Harris Children’s Books Home Page Tips and Techniques for Fairy Tale (and other) Illustrators Frequently (and Infrequently) Asked Questions about becoming a children’s picture book illustrator.  Facts and trivia about a job as an illustrator -- from best-selling fairy tale artist, Jim Harris Email Jim Harris.  Contact email for teachers, students, regular people (and any fairies) that want to get in touch with Jim. Link to Jim Harris Fantasy Art, Caricatures, Portraits and Sporting Art. Jim Harris – The Story of a Children’s Book Illustrator.  Learn how Jim became a picture book artist. (Only partly fairy tale.) Creative Writing Tips from Fairytale Author and Illustrator, Jim Harris The Fairytale Life of a Children’s Book Illustrator.  Well, it is pretty cool job… but maybe not exactly a FAIRYTALE! Illustrating a Picture Book, Start to Finish.  Jim Harris describes the process of illustrating a fairy tale… or any children’s book. Activities for Kids.  Classroom reading, writing and math activities, and sketches to color from Jim Harris fairy tale books.

See the adorable puppy characters that fill another Jim Harris’ wiggly-eyeball tale.  Ten Little Puppies who can’t seem to stay out of trouble!  New 2009!

Ten Little Puppies


Go on location with Jim Harris and see how he developed a central character for the Cajun fractured fairy tale Petite Rouge.

Petite Rouge


Jim Harris gives painting tips from his fractured fairy tale, Three Little Dinosaurs.  Information for art students -- about how to use acrylic and oil paints and about cleaning your paintbrush!

Three Little Dinosaurs


Jim explains more about the job of illustrating a picture book.  Details about creating art for a novelty book from the best-selling children’s title, Ten Little Dinosaurs.

Ten Little Dinosaurs


Art tips from the Southwestern fractured fairy tale The Three Little Javelinas.  Jim Harris tells the stories behind some of his most famous picture-book characters.

The Three Little Javelinas


Jim Harris gives pointers on creating vibrantly colored children’s illustrations in a little talk about the use of saturated and unsaturated colors in the Southwestern fractured fairy tale Tortoise and the Jackrabbit.

Tortoise and the Jackrabbit


Illustration techniques for students from The Trouble with Cauliflower.   Tips for young artists about how to use texture in illustrations for children’s book paintings.

The Trouble with Cauliflower


Art tips from the Southwestern fractured fairy tale The Three Little Javelinas.  Jim Harris tells the stories behind some of his most famous picture-book characters.

The Three Little Javelinas


So, if I become a children’s book illustrator… what kind of people will I be working with?  Read Jim’s answer to this important question in his discussion of the humorous picture book, The Bible ABC.

Bible ABC


Jim Harris shares illustration techniques from the fractured fairy tale, The Three Little Cajun Pigs.  Learn how to illustrate a picture book using visual rhythm and diagonal lines.

Three Little Cajun


Illustration advice by artist Jim Harris from the adventure tale, The Treasure Hunter.  Jim gives tips for art students about using overlapping to make paintings and drawings look realistic.

The Treasure Hunter


Dinosaur's Night Before Christmas, a holiday story as told by Jim Harris - the perfect Christmas gift for dinosaur lovers

Dinosaur's Night Before


Jim Harris Talks About Illustrating…

Jack and the Giant.  A hopelessly fractured Southwestern version of the classic Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale.  Any views expressed herein are solely the responsibility of author and illustrator Jim Harris and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any intelligent life form.

Jack and the Giant

A Very Fractured Fairy Tale


Jack and the Giant is the first book I wrote AND illustrated (as opposed to just doing the illustrations for a story someone else wrote.)

It took a loooooong time.

‘The Giant Beanstalk.’  (Fracturing Jack’s window frame.)  Note:  there isn’t a cat in the original Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale… but he crept into the Southwestern version… maybe through a crack in the floor.

Mostly the reason it took so long was that I kept coming up with ideas that the editors thought would get the book thrown off the shelves…  

Stuff like…

“When Jack heard the Giant coming he  got out of the kitchen in a hurry.  Besides, there was a giant mother changing a giant baby’s diaper on the next table and causing a giant odor.  Peee Yewwww!” 

(The editors thought that might offend babies.)

And I liked this pretty well….

 “We’ll have to sell our last valuable possession, said Jack’s ma.
“Oh, no!  Not my bubblegum collection!” wailed Jack.

(The editors thought that was just plain silly.)

            Oh, well, in the end, I put my foot down and said they had to include a whole bunch of my silly jokes, and they put their foot down and said it had to be held together with something resembling English grammar. And that's what we did.

Here’s what one girl I know said about it…

            “It’s silly!”

‘Jack Meets A Peddler’ (with magic beans for sale?)  Nope.  In this fractured fairy tale, the peddler is selling pre-used bubble gum.  Uh-huh.

Well, with a compliment like that, it’s hard to stay humble.  But yeah, I have to agree… in Jack and the Giant, the jokes are the main thing.  (I assure you no one has ever complimented me on the good grammar.  Ever.)

‘Jackrabbit Takes A Hit’  I know the original fairy tale didn’t have ANYONE getting hit by the magic beans, but how else could I get in my attorney joke?   Jackrabbit’s going to sue for fractured self-esteem.

This spot illustration is from the part of the story where Jack’s Ma, (Mrs. Annie Okey-Dokey,) tosses out the magic beans.  At the time I illustrated this I lived in Colorado, on the side of a magnificent mountain, where you could see for hundreds of miles out into the desert.  (And you could see a lot of jackrabbits.)  To me they were living symbols of the great Southwest.             

Later, we moved to New Zealand…  and guess what…  I now live on a farm between two magnificent mountain ranges and we are overrun with…. jackrabbits. 

  So maybe jackrabbits are just symbols of wild open spaces wherever you are!

Anyway, if you’re in the mood for a silly book, check out Jack and the Giant.   I hope it gives you a bushel of hee-haws!

Buy the book Jack and the Giant at Amazon.Buy an original painting from Jack and the Giant.

Link to Jim Harris Children’s Books Home PageEmail the page ‘Jack and the Giant -- The Classic Beanstalk Fairy Tale Fractured by Jim Harris’ to a friend.

Images and Text © 2009 Jim Harris. All Rights Reserved