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First Look at WAKE UP, COLOR PUP by Taia Morley

September 7, 2018


I am so excited to welcome author illustrator Taia Morley to the blog today to share the cover reveal for her upcoming picture book, WAKE UP, COLOR PUP. Taia actually brought with her a special surprise in the form of not only the book cover, but also the full jacket and case cover. My friend Mel Schuit of the Let's Talk Picture Books blog actually has an entire Vimeo channel devoted to case cover reveals (visit here) and I always enjoy when bookmakers use this space to delight, invite, and surprise readers. 


I invited Taia to finish my sentences. After reading her responses, scroll down for a look at the cover and more.




The idea for Wake Up, Color Pup came from... some puppy character sketches I developed for an unrelated toy assignment several years back. One of the puppies took up residence in my brain. I loved the character and his colorful coat and I knew he had a story to tell. It took a little coaxing to get the story out of him… (what this means is that I tried out several story lines until one made sense). Wake Up, Color Pup is about the richness of friendship. This world is a much more interesting place when we learn from others.


In the story... A bright yellow bird promises to bring adventure to sleepy Pup’s gray world. As Pup follows his new friend on a walk, each discovery ignites a new feeling and corresponding color, until Pup is saturated with them. But when a storm comes, Pup’s color is drained as fear sweeps through him. Only his curious yellow friend remains bright, and encourages him to keep his chin up, play, carry on!


The illustrations for the story... Are joyful and lively! The first few go arounds at the interior art were too stiff. My art director, Sarah Hokanson, encouraged me to loosen up and that sage advice let the illustration style reveal itself to me. Technically the illustration is a combination of using traditional watercolor and pastel techniques along with digital tools to refine the artwork. A “kitchen sink” approach to illustration, try a little of everything.


One thing I hope readers will take from this story is... There are positive, good influences all around us. Everyone will experience setbacks and “storms” in their lives, but one can weather those storms and be a positive influence in return.


The color I hope readers will feel after reading Wake Up, Color Pup is... Whatever color the reader feels is happy and hopeful!



And just like that we have a COVER!

Okay. Let's take a closer look at this cover.


Actually, let's take a moment just to enjoy those textures on Color Pup and the wisp of color the bird brings with it. It's looks a bit like spray paint or sponge, doesn't it? Like color being applied, being brought into the scene. This is the kind of art that my 3yo loves to run her fingers over as though she might actually feel the texture presented.


I see a colorful world outside the window which stands in contrast to Color Pup's black room. The outside is beckoning. It's inviting. And Color Pup is white. A literal blank canvas. I think young readers will have fun watching colors transfer from Color Pup's world on to his or her fur.


I can already imagine how educators will be using this story in their classrooms with young readers!


And of course, as promised, here's the full jacket for WAKE UP, COLOR PUP:



And the case cover.


Taia was actually kind enough to share a couple of spreads from the book for you to share with your young readers. Enjoy!





Thanks, Taia! And thanks, Random House Books for Young Readers!


WAKE UP, COLOR PUP will publish in March of 2019 from Random House Books for Young Readers.

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