Children's Book on Geology

Uploaded 21 June 2018

Somehow, I recently managed to make my employment as a PhD a whole lot cooler!

Back in august 2017 I was contacted privately by a geologist from Greenland. She offered me the chance to illustrate a geology book for school children for the Government of Greenland.

The project couldn’t fit my science communication dreams better.


There was no way I could accept the offer – I’m working full time as a PhD student with hardly any free time on my hands.

However, my boss is way too awesome for his own shirt! He helped me set up the sweetest deal!

My PhD employment is four years long (opposed to three) because I have to do a years’ worth of work for the museum I work in. This duty work should ideally consist of various tasks within outreach, collection management, teaching and administration.

Now I’ve been allowed to use 700 hours of my duty work exclusively on this children’s book!

The deal is officially between the Natural History Museum of Oslo and the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Labour and the Interior of Greenland. It’s kind of like the museum is renting me out in exchange for shared rights to my illustrations. And also for some money. Did I mention that? I’m being payed good money for my work! (Or, well, the museum is. But my project is secured excessive funding now!)

Here’s the project:

The book is first and foremost intended for children aged ten to twelve. It’s ordered by the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Labour and the Interior of Greenland and will be handed out free to schools in Greenland to be used in science teaching. The book is specifically about geology and resources in Greenland but will cover many general geological themes. The main text is written by a Greenlandic geology student and edited by people from the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Labour and the Interior. Throughout the book, the text will be supported by illustrations and comics done by me! I’ve written the manuscripts for the comics myself so it is thoroughly my voice and style that will be seen in the final book. It’s super exiting!!!

The comics will feature a geologist polar bear who take the reader through different geological sceneries as she explains the subjects. She is so far nameless.

Here’s her ‘official’ design, though I immediately changed her ears when I started drawing her for real.

I work together with the book's graphic designer to adjust colour code, text font and frame design.

For that reason, I’ve more or less finished the first comic page so we could test and adjust the size and so forth.

I’ve changed the text to English here for your sake!

At this point, all manuscripts are written and storyboards and early sketches have been drawn.

Here’s the storyboard (in Danish) for the three-page comic on plate tectonics in the beginning of the book.

I’m now in the process of making all the 'true' sketches – this I do the old-fashioned way with pencil on paper.

Here’s the same comic as above.

I will also be making an illustration for the cover of the book - but the design is still undecided.

This is my present idea sketch. (Imagine a photo of a landscape with the frames and polar bear drawn on top.)

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