From the moment you open the pages of Three Little Words, the dazzling art and familiar faces instantly transport you under the waves to the homes of Nemo and Dory. The soothing colors, smiling faces, and encouraging message—just keep swimming—make Three Little Words a perfect present for small fans of Nemo or graduates heading out into the big ocean for the first time.
Like Oh, The Places You’ll Go! before it, the story, written by Amy Novesky, is told in second person to give the reader encouragement on their own journey. While the book is an obvious tie-in to Finding Dory, the message is universal: no matter what obstacles you face, just keep swimming and you’ll find your way.
The supportive theme is accompanied by the glowing art of Grace Lee. Lee’s gorgeous paintings of sunlight streaming through the blue ocean, and her mastery at capturing the characters’ personalities with just one expression, make Three Little Words one of those picture books where you spend time staring at each page rather than flipping through quickly to get to the end of the story.
Lee’s artwork might look like a watercolor painting, but each illustration was created with Adobe Photoshop. “I did practice with real paints to try to achieve the feel and texture I was looking for,” Lee says. “I really wanted to give the illustrations an organic handmade feel.”
The details in each vibrant illustration are eye-catching and took anywhere from a couple hours to a couple days to complete, Lee says. Finding Nemo and Finding Dory are obvious inspirations for the art and style. “I also kept a folder of images from my favorite watercolor artists for inspiration,” Lee says.
If your little Finding Nemo fans are so inspired by the illustrations that they want to dip into the watercolors themselves, Lee has helpful advice for them and all aspiring artists. “Keep drawing and never stop learning. And when you hit a creative block, just keep swimming!”
Three Little Words is now available from Disney Press at a retail price of $16.99.
A promotional copy was provided for review purposes.
All images © Disney