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Tom Thumb

written & illustrated by Richard Jesse Watson

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 1989

ISBN13: 9780152892814 ISBN13: 9780152892807


With courage, wit and the help of animal friends, a tiny boy, no bigger than his father's thumb, earns a place as the smallest Knight of the Round Table. 

Watson's extraordinary full-color illustrations highlight his retelling of this old English tale.

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Richard retold this old English tale and used his son, Benjamin, as the model for Tom Thumb. He got a pet mouse to model for him, but he was always moving, scurrying up his sleeve and scampered over his paintings. He would not hold still.

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Neighbors, Dick and Cinny, model as Tom's parents

Poet, Michael Duffett, as the giant

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Tom Thumb was awarded the Golden Kite Award for Illustration in 1989. Two of the paintings and several sketches from the book were included in the Golden Kite Golden Dreams exhibit at the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature and also in a two-year traveling exhibition in numerous museums across the country.‚Äč

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Benjamin, the model for Tom Thumb, and a bicylce stands-in for his mouse steed

Family affair, Faith and Jesse assist with model shoot. Richard discovered the perfect Merlin at the Murphys gas station. 

Richard models as the tinker

Illustration of the tinker

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Sketch determining how big a thumb-sized boy would be

Early character sketch

Design for Tom's costume 

Costume design with color

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Watson's beloved editors, Diane D'Andrade and Jeannette Larson and superb designer, Joy Chu, helped shape this book.

Hidden in the paintings, the keen observer will discover Watson's signature obscurely tucked into the paintings throughout, and one rollie pollie pillbug. 

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A few of this title's foreign editions