At home, I have a shelf of books with covers I have designed. It’s been steadily growing over the years!

I got to add to my shelf last week, when I got a couple sweet packages in the mail: two books for which I had done the cover art several months ago. The finished product at last!

Dust City is a book that I can heartily recommend. It’s a wonderful modern fairy tale, about a young wolf with a bad reputation (his dad, it turns out, is the Big Bad Wolf himself). It’s set in a gritty urban environment where all the precious “fairy dust” is controlled by an evil multinational conglomerate, making for some very dark fairy tales indeed.

Here are some of the sketches:

And here’s the final art:

The other book is called Sign of the Beaver. It’s a classic, winner of the Newberry Award in the 1980s, and it’s a lovely story of a young boy fending for himself in the Maine wilderness, with the help of a Native American family who teach him the basics of survival. I loved it, and it was a real privilege to illustrate.

Sketches:

Final:

I don’t always like the books I illustrate. But in this case, both these books are wonderful, and I’m happy to recommend them. Pick them up for any young adults in your life, or get one for yourself if you happen to be a young adult who never grew up!

The packages kept coming this week. I got a couple of bottles of wine with a label I contributed to. This was designed by my friend Alicia Buelow, featuring a figure that I illustrated with Alicia’s art direction. My first wine label! (It’s a small producer, so it might be hard to track down.)