Is a breeze
I decided to go with an elephant sneezing on a cast of cute characters. This is the final entry:
The piece itself is three dimensional. The elephant's skin was created with tissue paper, and each little child was made separately and attached to the background using painter's tape. The balloon string is embroidery thread, and I love the effect it gives.
The winner of this contest will be chosen in January by Tomie dePaola himself, and the prize is a trip to the SCBWI Winter Conference in NYC. While I have my fingers crossed, I know that even if I don't win, I still have a piece for my portfolio that I'm quite fond of.