Louise Trapeze Series

Written by Micol Ostow, Illustrated by Brigette Barrager

Random House, 2015, 2016, 2017
Medium: Photoshop

Louise Trapeze is a series of four books about a little girl who lives and travels with the Sweet Potato Circus. Her parents are trapeze artists, and she hopes to be one too, but there’s a little problem: Louise is afraid of heights. Louise seems to always find herself in a pickle, like when she loses the juggling chickens, or becomes determined NOT to lose a tooth. But she’s surrounded by fun, friendly characters, like her best friend Stella (who rides an elephant). I love the look and feel of a classic circus – the striped tents, the strings of lights, the atmosphere of something unusual and wonderful arriving. The fantastic costumes, too! 

These books are for a young audience, those who are just beginning to read chapter books, and were heavily illustrated. It was a fun challenge to use only black, white, and one color for the illustrations in these. Each one had a unique Pantone color assigned to it, and that’s the only color used in the interiors. The limitation forces you to be mindful about where you put the color and why. 

These books were also a character design challenge: there are many different characters in the circus and each had to be drawn to feel unique and specific. There were also LOTS of animals: elephants, dogs, chickens, ferrets, monkeys, oh my! I also had to draw a motorcycle, which I did not enjoy at all.