"The poppy field scene in Oz, like most of that famous journey, is iconic. For that reason it was intimidating to illustrate. Americans have a vivid idea of what Dorothy and her friends should be. Frank Baum's great classic has been read and seen in illustration and film for a hundred years. So the great dramatic moments in the story must not be a letdown when it is illustrated anew. I tried to paint those moments as though I was a journalist following the the little band as they encounter one obstacle after another. Trying to see each moment with fresh eyes by taking it seriously, as though I was there with them. Describing in detail all the circumstances involved. Success depends on the illustrator never being condescending in his commitment to the story. Reading carefully, and drawing his characters from the text and not from earlier illustrated versions."