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Cover Reveal: The Train Rolls On To The County Fair

The "World's Greatest County Fair" may have just ended for another year, but we're still celebrating at our house. That's because we have finally completed the cover for The Train Rolls On To The County Fair! I'm so excited to share it with you, but first...here's a sneak peek at the cover creation process:


Earlier this spring, Illustrator Christina Wald created three thumbnail-sized concept sketches for the book's cover. Scroll through the photos below to view each concept:


At first glance, these concepts look pretty similar; however, if you look closely, there are important differences. Ultimately, I selected Option 2 for the cover, and here's why:


  1. I love that Option 2 includes both the Ferris wheel and historic Clay County Fair gate in the background.

  2. I also really like the positions of the engineer, cow, bunnies, and rooster.


After selecting Option 2, Christina and I discussed making one minor change to the picture- to move both cardinals so that they were sitting on the cow's back. Christina then set to work creating the full-size cover sketch, which was larger, neater, and much more detailed than the original thumbnail sketch. Check out her finished sketch below:


The Train Rolls On To The County Fair Final Cover Sketch

In order to convert the sketch to final art, Christina digitally painted the cover using Photoshop. Here is what it looked like once she was finished:


The Train Rolls On To The County Fair Final Cover Artwork

Isn't it beautiful?! I love how colorful it is and how Christina managed to pack so many characters and county fair elements into such a small space. It really encapsulates the book! Once again, Christina Wald has delivered a stunning cover- one that I am so proud to put my name on.


Speaking of that...


Once Christina finished the cover artwork, Book Designer Veronica Scott and I collaborated to finish the cover design. This entailed choosing font styles, font sizes and colors, and positioning the text, among other things. Our primary goal was to maintain consistency with the design of the first two books in the series while still giving this book a unique identity. (This was an easier task this time around since we had The Train Rolls On To The North Pole to use as a template.) After playing around a bit with the font and spine color, we officially completed the cover design earlier this month. Are you ready to see it?




DRUM ROLL PLEASE...




The Train Rolls On To The County Fair Final Book Cover

TA-DA! This is what the cover of the finished book will look like! Isn't it fun?! I'm so excited about the finished product that it's going to be hard to wait until next year to release the book! 😊


Here's one more look at the whole cover creation process. Scroll through the photos below to watch the cover come to life!



Before we go, here's a side-by-side look at the covers for all three books in the series:



And, just for fun, here's a look at some of the cover designs that we did NOT select for this book:



I like many of these designs, but I think we chose the right one! 😊


I cannot thank Christina and Veronica enough for their effort and dedication! They are wonderfully talented people, and they worked really hard to complete this amazing cover. I consider myself very fortunate to have both of them on my team!


For more information about Christina Wald, read my Illustrator Spotlight blog here. To learn more about Veronica Scott, check out my Book Designer Spotlight blog here. To review the cover creation process for The Train Rolls On, read my original Cover Reveal blog here.

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