Quill and Quire

Children's publishing

Julie Flett’s Q&Q cover illustration gets a second life gracing a new children’s book by Monique Gray Smith

Artist Julie Flett was unsure about doing the cover illustration for Q&Q’s October 2017 issue, as she was too busy working on other projects, like a cover and spot illustrations for The Journey Forward, A Novella on Reconciliation: Lucy & Lola (McKellar & Martin), a forthcoming middle-grade book by Monique Gray Smith. But after reading a draft of a Q&Q essay Smith had written, which mentions Lucy & Lola, the idea of doing a simple illustration inspired by the twin sister protagonists took root. Flett had already read the book’s manuscript but decided to base her Q&Q cover solely on what Smith had revealed in her essay. Smith knew Flett was doing the Q&Q cover but was still floored when she saw the image. Smith loved the image so much, in fact, that both she and publisher Tonya Martin agreed a version of it should grace the cover of the book that inspired it.

Kidlit Spotlight: Nancy Vo stakes her claim with an Old West picture-book trilogy

While browsing her local independent bookstore in 2011, Nancy Vo had an “aha” moment. She had just discovered Jon Klassen’s bestseller I Want My Hat Back: “I was floored and thought, ‘How did a picture book just do that to me?’ It sealed the deal – I was on a path to making kids’ books.”