Cover Reveal for Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley and Lauren Castillo
As the president of the Lauren Castillo Fan Club, I am honored to reveal the cover for her 2016 picture book with Jane Smiley, Twenty Yawns. Take it away, Lauren!
It was such an honor to be asked to illustratePulitzer Prize winnerJane Smiley’s debut picture book,Twenty Yawns.When I first read the manuscript, I immediately imagined Southern California, and knew I would need to make a trip out there for some inspiration. Travel builds visual vocabulary, and whenever I go somewhere new it helps me grow as an artist. Little did I know taking on this project would prompt me to relocate to the West Coast for eight sunny months. I made all the illustrations for this book while living in a tiny beach house rental in North County San Diego. It was the first time I completed art for a book away from my studio. I took minimal supplies—no drafting table!—but I made it work. I sketched at the beach, in coffee shops, and on the floor of my little bungalow. It was a challenge, but a great one, which helped me realize just how important it is to get outside of my creative comfort zone. (A lesson Nana has been trying to teach me for a while :))
While the early part of the book takes place at the beach, the rest of the story happens in the cozy home of a little girl named Lucy, after a long day of beachy play. Both of Lucy’s parents have fallen asleep, but she is wide awake and feeling restless. One by one, she collects her furry friends and brings them to her bedroom to keep her company. Once all are snuggled in bed, Lucy finally feels relaxed enough to drift off to sleep.
For the cover image of the book I created a close-up of Lucy and her dear friends, tucked tight under the blankets right before the twentieth and final yawn of the story. This illustration makes me smile. And YAWN.
I hope you’ll keep an eye out for our sleepy little book at your local bookshop next spring!
Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley; illustrated by Lauren Castillo | Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Featuring lyrical text and beautiful illustrations, this bedtime tale from Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley and Caldecott Honor recipient Lauren Castillo evokes the splashy fun of the beach and the quietude of a moonlit night, with twenty yawns sprinkled in for children to discover and count.
As her mom reads a bedtime story, Lucy drifts off. But later, she awakens in a dark, still room, and everything looks mysterious. How will she ever get back to sleep?