Thursday, November 3, 2011

November Release: Lily Goes Skitter Skating

I have a few books coming out this month! Exciting! :) 
Today's post is the "Behind-the-scene" of the third book in the Lily the Littlest Angel Series: "Lily Goes Skitter Skating", written by the wonderful author Elizabeth Pulford, published by Scholastic.

I did a couple of roughs for the cover. I wasn't happy with the initial design I did for the "cloak" Lily wears over her "winter gown". Sleeveless cloak seemed unsuitable for the Winter Sports that Lily takes part in.

Did a little sketch to work out her "winter gown" with "winter boots".

After playing around with the gown colours we have finalized the cover design!

Many new characters feature in the story. My favorite is Wanda. The bully-from-the-past character. She causes a lot of trouble in the story and poor Lily has to face all the consequences.

There is a scene where  "tip of Lily's skating boots and tip of Wanda's nose" crosses the finishing line at the same time. Went through a few roughs to get this scene right. I have ended up with a layout that captures the race feeling rather than being too literal with the text.

My other favorite character in this book is the athletic teacher, Angel Zara. After reading the manuscript, I decided to make her funky, active and young!

I must say, I am really falling in love with all these characters. Like the "Billie B Brown" series, I feel that when you illustrate for a series the characters really do grow on you to the point that you start to believe that they really do exist. When we're not writing about them the characters are still living, getting on with their daily routines. And when something exciting happens the authors put it into stories, and I illustrate them and the character's little "happenings" and "adventures" become books that we read for entertainment. 
For Billie's series I felt this taking effect from the 5th book. Maybe because the first four books were illustrated at the same time and I had no time to adsorb the characters and the stories fully. For Lily's series, this third book proved that the characters were becoming real for me. I couldn't help but to cry when I read the ending. Now, the book does not have a sad ending, or even a heavily dramatic one, but I was so proud of Lily that I had tears in my eyes, my motherhood must have kicked in. 
My partner was very confused at my attempt to describe this phenomenon after he caught me crying with the manuscript in my hands. To him these manuscripts are girly-cheerful-Harry-Potter-stories sprinkled with sparkles and fairy dust... and that's not bad either!


  1. A COUPLE of books coming out this month!!!

    How far you've come in two years Aki! I'm so pleased for you, that you're receiving the acclaim you deserve.

  2. Thank you for your comment Melanie!
    Im feeling very fortunate now :) Rather humble feeling
    I am so happy that I can actually call myself a freelance illustrator! I have just counted the number of stories I have illustrated so far. If I also include those that I am currently working on it tallies up to....

    3 children's picture books
    28 young series book
    6 book covers
    5 school journals
    1 magazine article

    Now I'm juggling 3-5 projects per month! Crazy!

  3. Your illustrations really protray what the storylines are about. I love it!

  4. Thank you Tammy! I always want my illustration to play as equally important role as the texts in the books. Not only do I hope that my illustrations amplifies the manuscripts, but also tell the "sub stories" that are not written out in words. I still have a lot to learn and improve!

  5. You are doing such a fabulous job! Keep it up :)

  6. I agree with 'fabulous job' - just wonderful.

    Talent will always shine through. And your light is getting brighter by the day or should that be by the illustration?!

  7. Hello Aki,

    I just read Lily skitter skates to my daughter and was impressed with illustrations. While just googling about what exactly skitter skates are, we reached to your blog. My daughter Vidhi (8 years old) is in love with your illustrations and wishes to be same when she grows up!. Love from Vidhi, India.