22.11.15

Gratitude

This week I came across a review of This Is Sadie that meant a lot to me. It was partly to do with its placement since the mandate of the International Literacy Association is pretty dear to my heart. (Links to previous posts on literacy here.)

But I was also pleased by the things that the review itself recognized about the book and the way that allows me to think about the way that picture books are really produced by the writer, the illustrator, the editor, and the designer.

Here's the review:


Thank you, Lisa D. Patrick for giving me the opportunity to say that while Julie Morstad and I have our names on the front of this book, credit is also due to our editor, Tara Walker, and our designer, Kelly Hill of Tundra Books.

The idea to use "This is Sara" and "This is Julie" on the jacket copy belongs to Tara Walker and I think it was a brilliant one...not just because it is kind of sweet and funny (although it is) but because it ties the author/creator bios into the book and somehow makes the whole thing organic.

I am still learning about picture books--I went from reviewing them to writing them to teaching how to write them and am only now am finally starting to feel I am coming close to beginning to suss out how they work--but I find one of the wonderful things about them is how everything matters.

A novel with a not-great cover will still be as good or as bad a novel as it was in manuscript (although its sales may not be what they might be) but a picture book with a not-great cover is much, much less than it might have been.

This is Sara & Tara celebrating Sadie
I was very lucky in that The Henry Books were all designed by the brilliant Robin Mitchell-Cranfield and all three books have been recognized for the brilliance of their covers and their design, but with This Is Sadie I really got a chance to see into the process of the book's design.

I felt very fortunate to see the sample illos that Julie Morstad did and how Kelly Hill then worked with the title text and design to pull the final image together.

And when we ended up with not one but two wonderful covers, in a stroke of genius, Tara Walker found a way to use them both!

When I look at This Is Sadie, it really pleases me to see how things came together on it and it makes me so grateful both to be making picture books and to be working with such great people.