In this post, the author shares her experience on the creation of the cover design for her latest children's picture book, Frazier: The Very Special Cat...
The cover of Frazier: The Very Special Cat was mutually designed by the publisher, MaryChris Bradley of Writer’s Coffee Bar Press, and illustrator Laurel McKinstry Petersen. As the author, I was given the chance to review the cover and offer my suggestions.
Because Frazier is third book in the Stray Cat Stories Series, we wanted the cover to be somewhat similar to the covers of the first two books. All of the book covers spotlight an illustration of the cats who star in the stories along with background touches that tell a little more of their tales so the image won’t be too bare. For the Frazier cover, to complement the large centered illustration of the cat, we added one of the toy mice seen in the book.
Because the cats’ heartwarming tales are written to help children develop compassion for strays, we wanted the cover images to be endearing and sweet. We also wanted to be sure to make the illustrations and backgrounds colorful and inviting so they would interest and attract young readers. Of course, it was important that the images and colors stand out and be noticeable to parents or children who might see the covers online or on a bookstore shelf. Featuring the cats front and center looking straight out at the “audience” helps in that regard, as does the jaunty font.
It took a few tries until the illustration for Frazier’s cover was just right, as it was adapted from one of the interior drawings and needed a few tweaks to work for the cover. For example, the tail had to be re-drawn so it was pointing upwards and fully visible.
In the end, the cats featured in the Stray Cat Stories books are so lovable, and the illustrations by Laurel McKinstry Petersen so charming, that the covers interest children and inspire a love for strays from the moment young readers hold the books in their hands.