Montigue on the High Seas
Story and Pictures by John Himmelman
July 1990
Puffin Books

​This book is dedicated to my wife, whose patience and creative advice has helped me in every endeavor. 
Thanks, Betz.

This book came out just a few months after Ellen and the Goldfish. I remember wanting to come up with an animal character not seen a lot in children's books. Sometimes the story comes after who the story would be about. This inspiration came from an unlikely source - my cat. The cat caught a mole and left it dead in front of our door. It was the closest I've ever seen one and in examining it thought, "This could work."
John Himmelman's Stories' Stories
Book #15
An early attempt at drawing waves...

Montigue (pronounced Mon-ti-gyoo) is a made-up name. More than once a teacher or student would pronounce it "Mon-teek". I'd usually let it go. It was my fault for picking a name like that.

Anyway, the mole is washed out to sea in a bottle and winds up on a pirate ship. Montigue helps the mice escape the ship's cat by inspiring them to make their own little ships.

Huh, Looks like I'm still drawing things all pointy-like.
This was a looot of heavy blue to paint - a mix of watercolor and Prismacolor pencils - on Strathmore bristol paper. I was hoping to show the isolation, to the extent that there's so much ocean, you can see the curvature of the Earth!
That should sail...

I love drawing glass and what you see through it! The orange soda bottle is an early attempt.
I sure did leave this open to more stories! But alas, they were not to be. Somewhere I might have a dummy of a sequel, but I think I remember there not being much interest in it.