"We're after a picture book 'about an animal that includes a moral somehow" - said every children's publisher everywhere at some point in history!
This is of course not an unreasonable request as if it ain't broke - don' fix it - and animals have been put to use to share, explain and demonstrate all manner of life lessons to young and old since...always!
And so, for my first ever commissioned piece of writing, after an initial story about an elephant that didn't pass muster (but may appear somewhere someday so i'll keep it between me and prospective publishers for now), I had another crack and came up with something about a sloth.
What you see here is the original title and one of numerous early cover concepts.
And this is the one and only character design sketch I did. Archie was one of those occasionally happy cases where a character appears fully formed pretty much first try!
From here, much illustrating and editing was done! The title was maybe deemed a little...insensitive in some quarters so a myriad of alternatives were discussed, dismissed, debated and eventually decided upon! And even then, the US edition opted for yet another title all their own - keep your eyes out for 'Archie To The Rescue' in your local Barnes and Noble.
And last but not least, a little deleted moment for you! For some reason, this image was found to be a little too extreme as one of Archie's attempts to rouse the attention of his fellow sloths - but here it is now in all it's delightful glory! Enjoy!