Instead of a fireplace, what about a potbelly stove?


While I was researching fireplaces for my children’s book, I came across pictures of potbelly stoves. My grandmother actually had one of these, and a terrifying wood-fired kitchen stove. I’ve been wrestling with the complications of explaining how to open a chimney flue to let my errant jay bird escape — flues aren’t a big topic in books for 5-year olds. Serendipitously, the potbelly stove solves my problem — it’s obvious that you only have to open the top door and Jimmy Jay would simply fly out the door. No explanation required.

This gouache painting uses the Zorn palette (yellow ochre, vermillion, lunar black, and white). No photoshopping for this one.