We are so excited for the third post in our new blog series here at Happily Ever Elephants – cover reveals! What is a cover reveal, you ask? Cover reveals happen several months before a new book hits the shelves, and they provide a wonderful avenue for authors and illustrators to share a sneak peak at their upcoming release(s) with their audience. The front cover of a book is, for all intents and purposes, the first page of the story. It communicates to the audience a bit about the pages inside, and it must be compelling enough to draw a reader’s attention. From the cover alone, readers often get a sense of the story’s genre, tone and writing style. A cover often makes a strong emotional appeal to the reader, thus getting the reader excited about the book pending release. Need I say more?
We are so excited to introduce you to Camille Andros and Julie Morstad for our third cover reveal. How lucky am I to have these two on Happily Ever Elephants? I absolutely adored Camille Andros’ debut picture book, Charlotte the Scientist is Squished (check out our review here!), and it was one of the first books on my Best Picture Books of 2017 list. The manner in which Camille simultaneously delighted and educated children was brilliant. And Julie Morstad… ohhhhhh, Julie Morstad! I am so in awe of her work, and let’s be honest – if I am ever lucky enough to publish any of my writing, she is my dream illustrator! I fell head over heels with her illustrations in This is Sadie, one of my favorite picture books from 2016. And now, without further ado, let me introduce you to their new collaboration: The Dress and the Girl.
THE DRESS AND THE GIRL,
by Camille Andros & Julie Morstad
A little girl and her favorite dress dream of an extraordinary life. They enjoy simple pleasures together on a beautiful Greek island. They watch the sunset, do chores, and pick wildflowers on the way home. One day, the dress and the girl must leave the island and immigrate to the United States. Upon arrival, the girl is separated from the trunk carrying her favorite dress, and she fears her dress is lost forever. Many years later, the girl—now all grown up—spots the dress in a thrift store window. As the two are finally reunited, the memories of their times together come flooding back. While the girl can no longer wear the dress, it’s now perfect for her own daughter—and the new journey of a girl and her dress begins. Featuring lush illustrations, The Dress and the Girl is a stunning picture book about memory and the power of the items we hold most dear.
ABOUT THE NARRATIVE:
CAMILLE IN HER OWN WORDS
The first book I ever seriously tried to write was The Dress and the Girl. I started and stopped lots of projects over the years, but this one haunted me until I got it right. There were two main events that brought about its genesis.
Tenish years ago I was invited to a fancy tea party. One of the guests came wearing a gorgeous vintage 1950’s dress. I Immediately wondered where this dress had been and what stories it would tell if it could. That thought stuck and I began filling up my notebook with ideas. The second event was when my husband and I had the opportunity to visit his parents in Greece where they were living at the time. We visited the small mountain village my husband’s Great-Grandfather left as a nineteen-year-old boy to come to the United States. He was one of eleven children and never saw the rest of his family again. I met my husband because his Great-Grandfather made that huge leap into the unknown to start a new life, and my family today exists because of him.
So, The Dress and the Girl combines these two thoughts and life experiences to give the reader a story of a young girl, her favorite dress, and the journey life takes them on.
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATIONS:
JULIE IN HER OWN WORDS
The initial thing that grabbed me about this manuscript was the opportunity to draw a small Greek island – I love Greece. It was one of the first places I ever travelled to, and I felt compelled to depict it. I also loved the idea of getting to draw the people who would be coming off the boats at Ellis Island in the early 20th century. I had seen so many beautiful, colourized photographs of immigrants from Greece in their traditional clothing, and I couldn’t wait to get started on the research and drawing of that. And they turned out to be my favourite spreads in the final book.
And now, Happily Ever Elephants is proud to present the cover for The Dress and the Girl:
I mean, this cover blows me away. Could it be any more stunning? I love it! And now… lets go under the cover with Camille and Julie.
UNDER THE COVER: Speed Interview!
Round 1: Camille
1. As a kid: books or basketball? BOOKS!
2. In college: study or soiree? Soiree.
3. To start your day: coffee or tea? A run 🙂
4. In your car: top 40 or podcast? Podcast
5. Writing schedule: 9-5 or whenever it fits in? Both!
6. What came first: character or setting? Character
7. First draft: sloppy or sleek? Sooooo sloppy
8. Writing reward: vino or vanilla? Chocolate 🙂
9. On your nightstand: Newbery or Pulitzer? Newbery
Round 2: Julie
1. As a kid: books or basketball? Pencil and paper
2. In college: study or soiree? My art school experience: study and raise a small child 🙂
3. To start your day: coffee or tea? Tea
4. In your car: top 40 or podcast? More like bickering kids and top 40 (their choice, of course!)
5. Writing schedule: 9-5 or whenever it fits in? Both
6. What came first: character or setting? Setting
7. First draft: sloppy or sleek? Sketches are a little sloppy.
8. Writing reward: vino or vanilla? Potato chips 100 percent always!
Thanks, Camille and Julie! The Dress and the Girl will be published by Abrams Books for Young Readers and released on August 7, 2018. You can preorder directly from Abrams!