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For the curiously inclined, here’s the more hidden jokes and fun facts in the book’s illustrations:
- Cover – the crocodile hat is the only thing not drawn by the illustrator, Dov Smiley. It was drawn by the book designer, Chris James. The idea came from my dad, when he saw a rough draft of the cover and called to complain bitterly that, “everyone knows there’s no crocodiles in Russia!” So after my objections that it doesn’t need to be historically accurate were overruled, I said, “Ok, fine, we’ll give him a Russian hat.”
- The Bright Side – the child’s eyeballs are in a jar on the shelf and a third eyeball is on a stick in the mom’s wall shadow.
- The Old Lawnmower – the blood is in the shape of a heart.
- The Harmonica – the original illustration was an oval. The purple tiling outside of the mirror was put in during the book design.
- Dinner – this was a custom illustration for Joshua and Alicia Simon
- The Oven – there’s a photo of the grandma with her grandson in the bottom left corner
- The Rat – this was a custom illustration for Josh Sacks. Also the rat has dad’s testicles in its mouth.
- Surprise – the man is not Walter White from Breaking Bad. Or at least that’s Dov’s story.
- The Happy Singers – the two children hanging in the tree are Dov and Ben
- The Last One Makes No Sense – Dov originally sketched two ideas for this one. Ben liked them both so much, he had Dov fully create both.