Hungry Roscoe – David J. Plant

Created by David J. Plant and published by Flying Eye Books, Hungry Roscoe tells the story of a ravenous racoon who, with the help of some mischievous monkeys, reeks havoc inside a zoo.

The fast-paced, imaginative and unpredictable tale follows Roscoe as he goes to extreme lengths in order to obtain a decent meal.

The book’s creator, David J. Plant, brings together spontaneous textures and hand-drawn shapes with white-space-enfused compositions and a contemporary colour palette of pastel tones to create a modern and refreshing picture book. With this style, he perfectly emulates the zoo setting; his use of subtle detail and comical quirks, evoking a feeling of adventure and excitement.

On researching Hungry Roscoe, we stumbled upon the set of images below on David’s blog. They give a fascinating insight into his process as well as the many edits which have to be made when creating a book such as this.


One of the most impressive features in Hungry Roscoe is the characterisation of each of the colourful cast of animals as well as the occasional human. Using enlarged eyes and overstated expressions, David conjures up individual personalities for each of the characters which can be instantly understood after just a single image.

Speaking about his method of characterisation, David reflects that he thinks of each character in one of his books as a “key frames in an animation”.

“In old Tex Avery cartoons, the personality and emotion of a character was reflected and exaggerated in every pose and expression. It seems essential to me to work with this principle, in order to tell as much of the story as possible without the need for words.”

Unlike some of Flying Eye Books‘ previous titles, Hungry Roscoe isn’t the most moral of tales. In the end, mischief prevails and so for the book to be a success you need an incredibly charming character to lead it. Luckily, Roscoe is such a hilarious and loveable rascal that by the end of the book you are more than happy for him to do whatever it takes to get a decent meal!


Posted on Jun 23rd, 15 by

Greg McIndoe - also known as Headless Greg - is an illustrator and design writer based in Glasgow, Scotland. He regularly writes for design magazines and online platforms, interviewing fellow illustrators and leading creatives.

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