I think this one owes not a little from childhood books like Rootabaga Stories, Raggedy Ann and The Wizard of Oz series.
Speaking of which, I just found this link and it made me very happy:
Studio blog notes: I’m finding more often that I’m not finishing the drawings I start for my daily page. Whether it’s that I’ve gotten more ambitious, or am simply growing in to spending more time in my studio, I now have stacks of drawings I want to revisit in one way or another. This is interesting, and I’m not sure how I will integrate it into the basic premise of my daily drawing. I’ll try to write a dedicated post about that soon.