Guest blogger: Aimee Friedman, editorial director at Scholastic
As the editor of the Whatever After series, I’m excited to share with you the cover reveal for Book #12: Seeing Red, as well as a peek behind the scenes at how a Whatever After cover comes to be.
Author Sarah Mlynowski’s enchanting series follows the adventures of Abby and her brother, Jonah, who travel through their magic mirror into different fairy tales—which the siblings always manage to mess up! The books put fun, modern spins on classic stories such as Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, and many more.
In this twelfth installment, Abby and Jonah (with their beloved nana along as a surprise guest!) journey into the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. And of course, the story doesn’t turn out quite like they expect...
When it comes to planning a cover for a new Whatever After book, I brainstorm ideas with Scholastic Press’s creative director, Elizabeth Parisi. We like to line up all the books in the series to see which color schemes, scenes, clothing, hairstyles, and details we’ve shown before. For instance, Book 11: Two Peas in a Pod—which fractures the fairy tale of The Princess and the Pea—features a bright-green background, with Abby wearing pink pajamas. So we wanted very different colors for Book 12. The goal is for each cover to feel fresh and original, while also tying into the look of the series as a whole.
We also want each cover to nod to the original fairy tale while adding in contemporary elements. For Seeing Red, we had the idea of showing Abby in a cute red hoodie—a modern take on Little Red Riding Hood’s cloak—walking through a forest, with a (big, bad) wolf slyly watching in the background.
Elizabeth then brings in our fabulous illustrator, Helen Huang, who does all the art for the series. Helen takes our initial concept and runs with it, making it her own and adding brilliant touches. We always “ooh” and “ahh” when she sends us her color sketch. The cover art usually goes through a few more rounds of tweaks and adjustments—for example, we asked Helen to change the wolf’s pose a few times so he was more visible—until it’s as polished and perfect as can be.
And then...ta-da! The cover is ready to reveal to the world.
I love the finished cover for Seeing Red: it’s so enticing and perfectly captures the adventure and spirit of the story inside. And I hope it gets you excited to read the book when it hits shelves in Fall 2018.
Editorial Director, Scholastic Press