Summer is nearly upon us--HUZZAH!--which means the books of summer will be hitting bookshelves very soon--DOUBLE HUZZAH! As I've done the last two seasons, for Spring 2016
and Fall 2015, I wanted to give you, dear reader, a glimpse into the cover-designing process. A LOT of thought, time, and energy goes into the creation of these beautiful images. My Summer 2016 is pretty big, so I'm going to break it up into two blog posts: picture books and novels.
Let's start with Ada's Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay (5/3/16) by Susan Hood with art by Sally Wern Comport. I don't think we considered any concepts other than the below for this amazing true story of an orchestra made up of children playing instruments built from trash. Sally so expertly combines the major elements of the story--Ada, her violin, the trash, and the orchestra members--in this inspiring, stunning piece of art. Early versions of the cover were in warmer tones, but we decided to go with shades of blue to capture the spirit and joy of the orchestra.
I'm very happy to be simultaneously publishing a Spanish-language edition.
We printed the jacket of the F & G's for Ada's Violin on a gritty matte paper in an effort to capture the grittiness of the setting. Though the finished product looked cool, the paper was almost too gritty--it didn't feel great in your hands. The actual book jacket is now on a regular stock with matte lamination and a beautiful spot gloss on the title.
Next up we have It Came in the Mail (6/21/16) by Ben Clanton. The story follows young Liam who loves getting mail...except he never gets any. He comes up with the brilliant idea to send his mailbox a piece of mail, asking for some mail in return, and the mailbox delivers. The first item the mailbox sends Liam is a delightful dragon; the interior image looks like this:
When I presented It Came in the Mail in our Summer 2016 Launch meeting (where we present all of the summer titles to the sales and marketing team), this moment got a big, "Awwww!" Lucy, that genius designer, suggested we make a version of the art our cover. We thought a less crispy version of Liam better suited the front cover, and Ben obliged.
The book has a trim size of 8.5 x 11 inches. The jacket has a matte lamination.
Finally, we have A Tiger Tail (Or What Happened to Anya on Her First Day of School), a fantastic new offering from author-illustrator Mike Boldt. Mike's a pretty big deal in his homeland of Canada, and he's garnering attention in the United States for his work on Dev Petty's I Don't Want to Be a Frog. I scooped up A Tiger Tail and a second picture book in a hotly contested auction.
Almost always, the cover is the last piece of art to be completed on a picture book. The book's designer (in this case, Krista Vossen) wants to see how the interiors come together before thinking about the cover. Sometimes, there's a piece of interior art that will double as the front cover; other times, a new piece of art is created. For this book, the latter was the case. We reached out to Mike to see if he had any ideas, and he delivered the following sketch:
It's not at ALL what I had in my head--it's SO MUCH BETTER. The image so elegantly captures the spirit of the book--just look at Anya's anxious little feet!
Like It Came in the Mail, the book is 8.5 x 11, printed with a matte lamination with a spot gloss on the title treatment.
Check out the "Coming Soon" tab to learn more about these books!