As the star of our first book, it was important for us to get the character of Alex exactly right. This required building up a detailed back story and personality. Alex needed to be a strong character, known as Lion Girl to her friends because of her distinctive red hair and brave character, she became the namesake of Lion Girl Publishing.

Alex lives at home with her mother and father. Her Dad is the primary caregiver, whilst also baking wedding cakes in his spare time. Alex's Mum runs her own business, and is a well known and greatly respected computer programmer.

Alex is unapologetically clever and reguarly out-foxes and outsmarts her parents - often with hilarious consequences. Alex is brave and outgoing, and loves nothing more than digging for worms, climbing trees and generally getting muddy. Never far from Alex and her adventures are her best friends, Jack, Ella and Grace along with her faithful companion, a beautiful Welsh Collie dog called Gwen. 

We worked closely with our fantastic illustrator Valentino on the way Alex should look and behave. After some detailed character notes, Valentino started to draw rough outlines using pen and paper. It was decided that Alex would be around five years old, have messy red hair that resembled a lions mane and usually have a plaster in her knee, a tear in her shirt or a worm in her hand. 

Alex variations 

There were many iterations of Alex, some of which are pictured above. After many designs, outfits and hairstyles - Alex was starting to take shape.

version 3

The picture above was the first image of Alex that the team were happy with, this sketch was then built up into something a little more refined.

Alex taking shape 

Now all that was needed was colour. As Alex is brave and fearless, we really wanted Alex to have red hair to characterise a lion. Each image in the Alex the Brave book goes through various stages of colour, highlighting and texture - as demonstrated below. 

shading and texture

We had great fun creating Alex, a cheeky little girl with the courage of a lion - we hope you love her as much as we do!