Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small series came out when I was obsessed with picture books. Then it was Young Adult books, too. Finally the obsession stretched to Middle Grade books (sorry bookshelves . . .) and I discovered Pierce's writing. Once discovered — devoted fan.
So here, Ms. Pierce, is a little bit of illustration fandom.
These photographic covers are beautiful, specifically shot to go with Tamora Pierce's other series whose main characters start out as teens or older. They work great for that purpose and to introduce the books to YA readers, as the stories are appealing to just about any age.
However, Kel is only 10 at the beginning of the series, beginning puberty and a bit heavy in the weight department in the second book.
Young girls today are under such heavy pressure from the media to "age-up" and be beautiful. I wanted to try for some of the mystery of these covers, but keep the age and weight of Kel true to the story. Plus, she's tan. With freckles.
So that's how I chose to work on a sample cover of PAGE.
Here's the initial sketch using the banner idea from the first set of covers and the large title from the second set.
Stage 2: pulled the view out a bit to give the cover some breathing room, added "Book 2" and stretched the banner, altered clothing a bit, changed "Jump" the dog's head — but Kel's head — what's happening with her head?