Every week or so, Debbie Ridpath Ohi shares new art, writing and resources for those who read, write and illustrate books for young people. The goal of the Inkygirl Word Count Challenge simple: to inspire writers to write.
Andrea was kind enough to give a bit of behind-the-scenes info about what went into the making of the cover:
I enjoyed working on the cover for this book especially because it was a very close collaboration with art director Cecilia Yung, editor Susan Kochan and the designer of the book, Jaclyn Reyes. We went back and forth multiple times to make sure the poses and expressions of the dragon and the girls were just right. The dragon had to be imposing and it had to be clear that he could be fearful, but we wanted to add a bit of swagger, too, to hint at possibilities in his character. The poses of the girls had to show their opposite characters and at the same time reflect their weariness of the dragon and their brave resolve to stand up to him. You can see from the sketches how the poses and expressions change ever so slightly in each version.
One thing I love about the cover design is that, thanks to Jaclyn's suggestion, the curves of the dragon's body ever so slightly suggest the lines of the yin yang symbol. I also love Wei's pose ( the girl in red ). If you look at the sketches you can see that we went with a different pose first, but felt that it was not quite right yet. I went back to my research and found this kung fu pose that to me shows perfectly the courage and audacity in Wei's character, and her resolve to protect her loved ones.
Oh, and another thing I am very happy about is that we were able to make it a wrap around cover! So on the back you'll get to see a bit more of the dragon, the landscape, and also some of the townspeople on the bridge.
You can find out more about Andrea Offermann and her work at her website, on Facebook and on Twitter (she JUST joined Twitter, yay).
Over the years, I've been accumulating all the "How <title> Was Created" guides for young writers and illustrators, advice from children's book creators I've interviewwed, plus a few tips for not-so-young book creators. Feel free to browse all this info as well as my free picture book thumbnail templates at my CREATING PICTURE BOOKS resource.