Battle Bunny

Written by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett. Simon & Schuster, 2013.

What happens when a kid finds a sappy book and a pencil? World domination, of course.


Making mayhem

Battle Bunny was once a cute little book named Birthday Bunny. Alex, owner of the book, changes the sweet bunny into a power-hungry fiend who tries to take over the world.

Basically, I had to illustrate this book twice. First I created the color art in my usual oil painting style. Next, I drew on prints of the art, in pencil, trying to match the skill of an eight-year-old. For more about the process, watch my video.

Scroll down to see sketches and early ideas.

Click on any image to enlarge it.

Badges Required • Oil on illustration board

Badges Required, after I vandalized my own art.

Birthday Gifts • Oil on illustration board. (you'll have to get he book to see what the gifts became.)

Cover Art • Oil on illustration board

Surprise! • Oil on illustration board

Surprise! after my alterations.

It's My Birthday! • Oil on illustration board

Party Time! • Oil on illustration board

Bunny's Thinking Place • Oil on illustration board. The rock became a launching pad for Battle Bunny's fiendish rocket. Scroll down to see the preliminary sketch for this image.


One of my tests, on an existing book, experimenting with how the drawings might look over a faded illustration.

Another test, to see what penciled additions could look like.

This shows an illustration in the first few minutes of painting.

Sketch for Surprise!

Altered sketch for Surprise!

The original cover sketch.

The altered version of the cover sketch.

This video shows the process of making Battle Bunny art.

Altered sketch for Hatching Plans, the final book version of Bunny's Thinking Place.