Today it is my great pleasure to welcome author and friend of the podcast (episode #444) Mitali Perkins and illustrator Sara Palacios to the blog to share a first reveal the cover of their new picture book, BETWEEN US AND ABUELA: a Family Story from the Border.
I invited Mitali and Sara to finish my sentences. After reading their responses, scroll down for a look at the cover and more, including a glimpse into the process and development of the cover.
MITALI and SARA FINISH MY SENTENCES:
The idea for BETWEEN US AND ABUELA first came from (Mitali)... hearing about the wonderful cross-border celebration of La Posada Sin Fronteras in Friendship Park that has taken place every December for the past 25 years.
When I first read the manuscript for BETWEEN US AND ABUELA (Sara)... I was touched by the story. Being an immigrant myself I know how hard it is to be away from family and country. I can not imagine what it must be only being able to be in touch with your loved ones through a fence.
In BETWEEN US AND ABUELA (Mitali)... When María, Juan, and their mother go to the border between California and Mexico to visit their grandmother at Christmas, María must find a way to get Juan's gift over the fence.
The illustrations for the story were made using (Sara)... Acrylic and gouache, plus other textures, all put together digitally.
One moment in the story I’m excited for readers to experience is
(Mitali)… that love always finds a way to cross borders.
(Sara)… when Juan’s drawing finally makes it over the fence and everybody is looking at it.
And just like that we have a COVER!
Look at those textures worked throughout the textiles and objects! And those beautiful earthy colors, how they pair together so beautifully. This is definitely a beautifully designed cover and there's a lot to read in Sara's illustrations. The two children pictured (Maria and Juan) are making gifts, I can only assume, for their grandmother. I wonder if they've sent her gifts before. I wonder how often their in contact with her. I wonder how they knew to make these gifts. From the joy on their faces, it feels as though they're making the scarf and the drawing simply because they know Abuela will love them. And really, does there need to be any other reason?
My eyes also can't help noticing that the sofa is framed by a cactus and a Christmas tree. And at this point I'm probably reading way to much into Sara's design... but noticing the picture of Abuela in the frame on the stand I can't help but feel like that cactus is a bit like that harsh divider between where Abuela is and where her grandchild live. Even so, what's waiting there with the children is that heart pillow. Love.
I think we're in for a treat with this one (along with the chance of a few tears).
SARA TAKES US BEHIND THE SCENES:
What follows are a few process drawings from Sara, leading us into the final cover. Enjoy this glimpse of a moment with the children and their mama.!
And here is the final cover for comparison.
Thanks for sharing, Mitali and Sara! And thanks, Farrar, Straus and Giroux!
BETWEEN US AND ABUELA will publish on September 10, 2019 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.