It’s here! It’s here! (it feels like Christmas already)

It feels like Christmas already! This came to my door yesterday. The first bound sample copy of my kids book Barbed Wire Baseball (written by Marissa Moss, published by Abrams, scheduled to publish spring 2013).

I have heard from peers who have already done it  that working on a kids book is a lot of blood, sweat and tears. OK, maybe not blood, but definitely the latter two were true. Actually to be precise, last fall when I was in midst of working on the interior pages, I lost hearing in one of my ears, probably from fatigue and stress. I had to run to an ER, then thoroughly get my hearing tested at a hospital.  So, blood part was not that far off either. (Thank you my BFF Gary Taxali for giving me a call to ease me when I was in pain)

But, finally finally finally, I am holding the book in my hand. And it is beautiful! Thank you AD Chad Beckerman for paying such great care even down to very small details in design. Thank you Dadu Shin and Victo Ngai for helping me with coloring process. And thank you American Illustration for including four spreads into their recent annual.
Book is ready for pre-order now.

"yuko shimizu" "barbed wire baseball"me, happy with the newly received book

dust covers were inspired by old baseball covers. John Gall‘s Sayonara Home Run! was referenced heavily, and now John works for Abrams. Nice coincidence.

when the dust cover is off, a different cover design appears

the front end paper is just sky and fence, but the back end paper has one more element, to go along with the story. you will see the other one at the end.

this spread was a bxxch to work on. I cannot thank Victo enough for helping me separate colors on this cray spread.

so, here is the other end paper. See the difference?

And, here are some process photos I took over the course of the project (photos sans blood, sweat or tears.)