Towards the end of Bears on the Stairs, when it’s well past the little boy’s bedtime and he gets taken upstairs by his parents, Julia Jarman’s text says ‘…the bears all hide.’ This presented an interesting challenge: I needed the 3 bears to stay on the staircase, but where on earth could I hide them, given only one of them is even vaguely small and I had no furniture to help me?
It was also important that, though the family in the book mustn’t be able to see them, the child reader should be able to spot them.
The smallest bear was easiest to hide (but the trickiest for the reader to find): I tucked him under the carpet, creating a lovely lump. I bent credibility just slightly, by hanging the koala from the rear side of the spindles. The big grizzly was hard though. It took a while before I realised – we rarely look up! I could hide him above the action, which removed him from sight whilst keeping him in plain view:
I was concerned that having him hanging unseen above their heads could be a little scary, so I drew the bear giggling, to diffuse anything sinister about the image.