UPDATE 2: There is now a sixth cover choice you can illustrate if you want. Scroll to see it!
UPDATE: Due to changes in plot, in scenario 4 and 5 Kim does NOT flush the mice down her toilet. Instead she drives out to the lake outside town and drops the trap with the mice inside into the water to drown. After being rescued by the police dog, the mice swim into Kim's sewage system (which empties into the lake) and swim the miles back to her bathroom, where they trigger the explosion which causes Kim's bathroom to explode and the mice to go flying out. Update over!
This is a children's book ( namedMice & Kitchens) about a band of clever mice who band together to steal food from a suburban home owned by a woman named Kim. There are themes of friendship, trust, and tolerance in this book. Five ways you could illustrate this cover, I'll let you pick which one you want:
1. On cover there will be a bunch of mice in a kitchen stealing food. It's Tuesday night, and the first night that the mice break into the kitchen to steal. Because of this, they are careless and end up waking the human owner of the house. The mice are adorable and full of personality. One of them might be farting from the food he just ate while another one slurps from an orange juice carton. This was a clean and orderly kitchen before the party started! But the commotion has awoken the home owner Kim, who (still wearing pajamas) is rushing into her kitchen. A look of horror and disgust is on her face as she sees all the mice making a mess of her beautiful kitchen. Kim is 30 or 31 years old and is either brunette or black haired.
2. Cover two is all the mice creeping through Kim's bedroom and each one of them is stealing an item of food from her kitchen. It is Wednesday night, the second night they steal - and this time they're more careful. They are careful not to wake her. Again, Kim is 31 years old and is either brunette or black haired.
3. In this cover, it is early Friday morning and the mice are all hiding behind Kim tea cupboards as she stumbles still have asleep and in her PJ's into her kitchen, a cup of tea in her hand and a yawn on her face. The mice did not wake her, she woke naturally and is headed to the kitchen to get herself charged up on tea or coffee before driving out to work at her job. She is unaware that the mice are in her kitchen, and is basically just yawning and getting ready to go back in her room to change out of her PJ's and leave the house. Lucy (the main mouse) is planning to wait until she leaves and then to raid the fridge and pantry. Lucy is a clever mouse! This is actually the ninth time the mice have raided the kitchen.
4. In this choice, it is early Sunday morning and all the mice are trapped inside a bait trap that Kim had set. Kim (in her pajamas since it's very early in the morning) is bending down to sneer angrily at the mice, a look of triumph on her face towards the animals who dared to steal from her. She woke up on her own and walked over to her trap to discover with delight that her trap worked. The mice look scared and sad, and who can blame them? She plans on driving out to the lake out of town and dropping the trap into the water, where they'll drown. This is the moment where the mice family comes face to face with the hate they are dealing with. Bending down, Kim's face is literally an inch from the cage, a triumphant expression on her face.
5. In this one, it is Sunday noon(the same Sunday as 4, just later in the day) and the mice have been rescued by a police dog. They almost drowned, but the dog heard them scream with his floppy ears and he swam to the bottom of the lake to rescue them. The mice thank him but Lucy's mom wants to go back to the house because her babies are waiting for her in the nest they built between Kim's walls. The dog tells them that all the human's homes have a sewage system which empties into the lake, so they all have to do is find the right one and they'll be back. Lucy's mother has a mother's instincts and she easily locates the pipe - but the mice will have to swim back into the lake to enter the sewage system. Up until now, they have been an extended family of five mice. But now the forest mice (numbering in the hundreds) offer to accompany the family back home to rescue the babies. They offer the family a home in the woods. But there are just too many mice in the pipes, which triggers an explosion in the pipes leading from Kim's house to the lake. This causes her bathroom to explode and all the mice to come flying out of it in a blaze of cuteness. One mouse gets the idea that if all mice hold hands they'll be okay when they hit the ground. So there is Kim is working in her garden. It is the same Sunday and she is feeling rather content now that the mice are drowned (or so she thinks.) It's Sunday so she has the day off. This cover and cover 6 are the only ones in which you don't have to illustrate her with pajamas - it's broad daylight. Instead she is wearing exercise clothes and she is working on her garden. She plans to head out to the gym after she is done and then in the evening to go to a hairdresser and then to her monthly bookclub. Thankfully none of those things are going to happen, as you'll about to see! :) So there Kim is working in her garden when a giant, giant, GIANT ball of mice comes flying out of her house. She looks up at them like "WHAT THE HECK?!" And then literal magic happens. So for this cover, the mice are flying high into the air. Kim looks up at the mice in shock and horror. The mice wave down at her with big smiles on their faces, happy that they've escaped death and happy that the police dog is about to arrive with his human masters to arrest Kim for trying to drown cute mice. The mice are literally flying in this cover, bouncing all over Kim's house and yard like bouncing balls. They are high fiving each other, using their newfound flying and bouncing powers to steal food. One of them bounces into the exhaust vent of her truck and causes it to explode - but don't worry, he's safe! There are also baby mice in this scene. This scene is magic, and I want it to be a relief to all the children reading it who only moments before were scared that the mice were going to drown.
6. In this last cover, the magic suddenly wears off. The mice topple to the ground without their powers. Scared, they run into Kim's garden to hide among her plants. Kim (who is still wearing workout clothes) snaps. She grabs a garden hoe She dtarts slashing the ground, destroying her own garden which she had just been working on to get the mice. The mice duck. She tries to hoe them to death, but that's when the police arrive to arrest her for animal cruelty. So for this cover, you could have the terrified mice hiding in Kim's garden as Kim hatefully smashes her hoe again and again at the garden - trying to kill the mice. Remember, she HATES HATES HATES the mice at this point.
(Kim does get arrested and is given a long prison sentence. The mice then are free to have all the food in her kitchen, and they turn her destroyed home into their new home. The book ends after a giant party, where the mice invite other woodland animals like raccoons, skunks, rabbits, squirrels, oppusoms, porcupines, and even rats to party in the ruined house.)
Mice & Kitchens by Elura Flemmings