Rocky The Human Squirrel

My most recent project has been illustrating a book for Jean Ball-Maurer titled Rocky The Human Squirrel. It’s a short, illustrated chapter book. I did the color cover (front and back) and 10 black and white interior illustrations.

She just emailed me that that the paperback is up on Amazon now. She’s so excited to see her first book out in print! Here’s the link:

The ebook will be coming in a few days. I’ll post about that when it’s up and I’ll share a look at the illustrations pretty soon also. In the meantime, here’s the cover:

The front cover of a book with the title, "ROCKY The Human Squirrel" and bylines for "Jean Ball-Maurer" and "Illustrated by Karen B. Jones".  The word "ROCKY" in the title is in all-caps and uses an acorn for the "O".  The cover artwork shows a cartoon squirrel standing on a branch holding a tree bark sign reading "FREE TO BE ME". Behind the squirrel and branch are tree leaves on the sides and top and blue sky behind everything.  There is a copyright notice across the top that reads, "Copyright © 2023 Jean Maurer.  All rights reserved."

A Basketball Story – Cover

This week I finished illustrations for a new picture book for Entrepreneur Media Inc. Here’s a mock-up of the cover. The final text will be formatted a little different, probably a different font, but this gives you the idea.

A cover mock-up for a picture book titled A Basketball Story:  Always be Humble, based on a true story by:  Miles Davis-Majors and Illustrated by:  Karen B. Jones.  

The cover is divided into four quadrants.  The upper left shows a team picture of the Jackrabbits team, a youth basketball team consisting of players around 10 years old.  The upper right has the same sort of team picture for the Sea Turtles team.  The lower left is a close-up of three Jackrabbit players' faces in profile, receding from the viewer.  The lower right is the same for the Sea Turtles.  The center has a basketball with the title text and bylines overlaid.

A little behind-the-scenes detail: I originally had a different cover design concept in mind (below) but the client wanted this one (above) because they wanted to show everyone on both teams and didn’t want them to look aggressive.

A rough cover mock-up for a picture book titled A Basketball Story:  Always be Humble, based on a true story by:  Miles Davis-Majors and Illustrated by:  Karen B. Jones.  

Two basketball players, both around 10 years old, hold a basketball between them with one hand each.  The other hand for each is a fist.  The Jackrabbit player on the left is frowning with eyes narrowed and eyebrows down.  The Sea Turtles player on the right has a similar aggressive expression, but with his teeth showing.  The Jackrabbits player is an African American boy with his hair bleached blonde on the top.  The Sea Turtles player is an East Asian boy with thick, shaggy hair.  A crowd seated on bleachers is out of focus behind them.

Dune: Mock-up Cover

I just finished re-reading Dune by Frank Herbert.  I hadn’t read it since high school and had forgotten just about the entire story.  Afterwards, I felt like drawing something Dune-related.  So, here’s a mock-up book cover.   I haven’t seen the movie and so intentionally didn’t use it as visual reference.


The image and layout is mine.  The font is Atilla-Condensed by Bay Animation Inc.  Dune and everything else belongs to Frank Herbert.