For years and years I dreamed about writing and illustrating a children’s picture book. I didn’t know exactly what the story would be, but I always knew if my write-a-children’s-book-dream was to come true, I would call it Twirl.
If you are a blog reader from the Jones Design Company days, you might remember this blog post (from 2010!) where I first mentioned what the word twirl meant to me.
If you listen to The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey, you may have heard us talk about this book dream of mine when I shared the title way back in 2015.
If you’ve read Freely and Lightly, you know just how much the word and, more importantly, the meaning behind the word, has had in shaping the journey to finding peace in being just who God created me to be.
And now, I’m so excited to share this dream-come-true book with you!
Meet Twirl, a sweet story with adorable characters, charming illustrations and a message that all little (and big!) girls need to hear: God is so delighted by you being just who He made you to be.
I can not wait to tell you so much more about this sweet book – the story behind the story, the process of illustrating and watching it all come together. But for today, let’s talk about the cover!
I’m one of those that definitely chooses a book by its cover (you too?!) and it felt especially important for a children’s picture book.
A cover of a picture book must be eye-catching, it has to make both a parent and a child want to pick it up and open it, it needs to look cute on a bookshelf (that my requirement at least!) and it should at least give a hint about what to expect inside.
After finishing all of the illustrations, it was time to design the perfect cover for Twirl that hopefully hit all of the picture book cover criteria.
I’m not sure if this is how it is normally done, but because I did the illustrations, I also came up with an assortment of cover ideas to share with my publishing team. Would you like to see them?!
As you can see, coming up with just one option was impossible 🙂
I played with layout first. Did we like a patterned background with just a peek at the characters? Or a full scene?
While I love the simplicity of the first row of options, it was unanimous between the friends I showed the samples to and my publishing team that the grassy hill and tree scene was more eye-catching.
From there we moved to poses. Did we like Audrey twirling with her back to us? Or that kick-y pose? Nope, neither felt quite right so I painted a new version with her holding the skirt of her dress and that one was the winner.
Then we went into the little details: watercolor background or just a few clouds? Flowers in the foreground or keep it simple? Title curved or straight across?
And finally, we had to figure out the font choices. I’ll tell you more about that in another post.
After lots of back and forth and tiny adjustments (you guys, I am sure my publisher rolled their eyes a hundred times at my overly-detailed requests) we landed on the final, final, final cover.
Isn’t it cute?!
I’ll have much more to share about Twirl in the upcoming weeks as well as special gifts and surprises that you won’t want to miss.
Thank you so much for your excitement about this project. I truly can not wait for you to hold this book in your hands, read it to the little girls in your life and share it with friends.
I’d love to answer any questions you have about the book or the process … ask away!