Behind The Scenes: Illustrator Andrea Offermann and the cover of THE YIN-YANG SISTERS AND THE DRAGON FRIGHTFUL

by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
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Don’t you love the gorgeous cover of The Yin-Yang Sisters and the Dragon Frightful? Written by Nancy Tupper Ling, this upcoming picture book is illustrated by my friend, Andrea Offermann, and it comes out from G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books For Young Readers on Sept. 18, 2018.

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.

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You can find out more about Andrea Offermann and her work at her website, on Facebook and on Twitter (she JUST joined Twitter, yay).

Find out more about The Yin-Yang Sisters and the Dragon Frightful on the Penguin Random House website.

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For more interviews, see my Inkygirl Interview Archive.

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