Kyle Goes Alone

Last year around this time, my life seemed to revolve around this desk.

Studio shot, Kyle goes alone, sloth art

Amidst piles of green and blue painted sheets of paper, penciled up tracing paper, stacks of book-marked reference materials and a confetti explosion of foliage and vine pieces, a little sloth named Kyle was being born.

Kyle Goes Alone, children's book, kid lit, sloth, sloth book, three toed sloth

Kyle was initially shy and fearful of the vast rainforest I was creating around him. All of those blues and greens made him feel cold and lonesome. His little brown body eagerly clung to the vines I cut for him.

leaf cutter ants, kyle goes alone, rainforest, paper collage

Little by little, and I mean little, I introduced some friends into the scenes for Kyle to meet. Some had six legs. Others had two. Some were green while others were red. And some had tiger stripes even though they weren’t actually a tiger.

tiger striped tree frog, rainforest frog, kyle goes alone, paper art

I didn’t want to startle Kyle, so I made sure to introduce the friends gradually, only showing pieces of them at first. Can you spot two in the scene below?

Kyle goes alone, sloth in tree, paper illustrations

After a while, something changed in Kyle. The greens and blues of the rainforest didn’t feel cold and lonely to him. A little smile even started to form on his face and he was ready to share his story with the rest of the world.

Kyle Goes Alone, three toed sloth, kid lit, sloth book, Ashley Barron, Jan Thornhill, owlkids

Kyle Goes Alone is a delightful story about a baby sloth’s first taste of independence and how he overcomes his fear of “going alone”. It’s written by Jan Thornhill, published my Owlkids and illustrated by yours truly.

I hope Kyle finds his way into your heart as he has mine.

3 Responses to “Kyle Goes Alone”


  1. 1 Nur'Ain Chuni November 9, 2016 at 3:51 am

    I simply love your illustrations Ashley! :))


  1. 1 Kyle Goes Alone - CawCawBooks Trackback on August 6, 2019 at 4:48 pm

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Hello

My name is Ashley Barron and I'm a Toronto based illustrator. This is my online show & tell of new artwork and anything else I find inspiring. Thanks for taking a look :)

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Feeling quite thankful for waste management workers who continue to clean up after us during this time. Raccoons may beg to differ, however. 🦝 . . Btw, this pile of garbage (oh boy, do I love saying that!) is for a book in the making with @kidscanpress called “My City Speaks”, set to release Fall 2021. . . . #cutpaper #papercut #papercuttingart #papercutting #cutpapercollage #paperart #collageartist #collageillustration #paperillustration #cutpaperart #torontoillustrator #canadianbooks #kidlitillustrator #kidlitart #canadianpicturebook #makingapicturebook #picturebookprocess #bookmaking #artprocess #kidlitartist #picturebook #picturebookart #racoon #racoons #pileofgarbage #garbagetruck #wasteremoval #essentialworkers
Things happening atop my desk in past springs: 2019: I was cutting out tiny flowers for an article about pollinator gardening. 2018: I was finishing up the artwork for ‘My Forest is Green’. . . 2017: I was taking a gazillion photos of baby Yeti sniffing this hyacinth. #cutpaper #papercut #papercuttingart #papercutting #cutpapercollage #paperart #collageartist #collageillustration #paperillustration #cutpaperart #torontoillustrator #kidlitillustrator #kidlitart #artprocess #springkitten #myforestisgreen #paperflowers
The curious case of the shrinking pinecone. 🧐
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Sending hugs to you @katie.scott2 in the form of this portrait of your trusty coworker, Bitten. Wishing you and everyone else a wonderful Caturday even if you don’t happen to have a cat to cuddle. (And hoping @isabelle_arsenault doesn’t mind my paper-cut version of her beautiful artwork.) . . . . #catcoworker #papercat #papercats #cutpaper #catportrait #cutpaperart #catart #wip #paper #papercollage #cutpaperart #cutpaper #cutpaperillustration #bitten #caturday #illustration #torontoillustrator #catlovers #excelblades
So much remains after a book project is complete. And because I’m the ambivalent type who never knows whether to sell my originals or hoard them inside a drawer, I thought I’d begin by sharing these leftover parts here with you, in this in-between place we call instagram. 1. These tiny bits all fit inside a Ferroche box. Some were lightly taped to backgrounds so that I could easily unstick them and reuse elements like the waves for different spreads. 2. Just a portion of the fuller spreads. I cover them with tracing paper to protect their layered surface and keep them flattened inside drawers. 3. And then there are sketches…so many sketches! I’ve arranged them so you can see how these Sand Pipers emerged from the manuscript stage onwards to the thumbnails, sketches, final art and printed page. 4. And after almost 2 years from start to finish, and with the help of so many other dedicated people involved: voila, a book! My Ocean is Blue >>> written by @darrenlebeuf published by @kidscanpress #cutpaper #papercut #papercuttingart #papercutting #cutpapercollage #paperart #collageartist #collageillustration #paperillustration #cutpaperart #torontoillustrator #canadianbooks #kidlitillustrator #kidlitart #canadianpicturebook #paperdolls #makingapicturebook #seaside #excelblades #picturebookprocess #bookmaking #artprocess #kidlitartist #myoceanisblue #picturebook #oceanbook #picturebookart
Want to see inside my newest picture book? . . ‘My Ocean is Blue’ is written by @darrenlebeuf and illustrated by yours truly, edited by Jennifer Stokes, designed by Julia Naimska and published by the fabulous folks at @kidscanpress 📚 Much like ‘My Forest is Green’, this book follows a child’s poetic exploration of their favourite place to be. 🌊🐋🐬🐟🦀💙 . . #cutpaper #papercut #papercuttingart #papercutting #cutpapercollage #paperart #collageartist #collageillustration #paperillustration #cutpaperart #torontoillustrator #kidlit #kidlitillustrator #kidlitart #picturebook #newpicturebook #myoceanisblue #oceanlove #oceanbooks #binoculars #alexcolvilleinspired #oceanpicturebook #seaside
Sometimes good things happen when you’re strapped for time. In this case, I was juggling multiple deadlines and in order to meet this one, I had to rely on the computer a bit more than usual. It’s about 50/50 paper collage and digital. @cwf_fcf Wild Magazine Art Director: Steven Balaban . . . #digitalcollageart #cutpaper #cutpapercollage #paperart #collageartist #collageillustration #torontoillustrator #canadianillustrator #artprocess #milkweed #marshmilkweed #butterflygarden #monarchbutterfly #monarch #monarchgarden #monarchcaterpillar #paperflowers #canadianwildlifefederation #canadianwildlife

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