It’s four days till the launch of our children’s book, We Belong To Each Other! Jose & I have been working on this story for years now and are so excited for it to be out in the world. Today I really wanted to share some of the behind-the-scenes to help you get to know the book better. Overall, writing the story was the quickest part and we spent a lot more time selecting the illustrator and making adjustments to the style of the book. We really wanted you to recognize the book as our home, our animals, and our farm!
Choosing an illustrator was a really interesting part of the process of creating our book. Jose had written the story of bringing Grace to our farm after it came to him in a dream & it was such an exciting process to turn this concept into a story. We worked together to edit the story and we both really wanted to find an illustrator that captured our style. Our publisher found a handful of artists and we examined their previous work and style to select the illustrator we thought was best for our book. We loved Katie Rewse’s art style and her previous work, we knew she would be the best person to bring our story to life. These were the first two sketches we ever got from the book. The illustrator started with the cover before creating the individual pages in the book. This was a great way for us to really nail down the look and feel of the book, while also perfecting the drawings of Grace & Winnie!
Right away we loved the initial images and knew we were on the right track with these sketches! We really wanted the cover to have a few elements that would be reminiscent of our farm. The cover would be a perfect spot to add our barn in and demonstrate that it is the story of bringing Grace home to our farm! After looking at the sketches we wanted to make a few changes to the barn and the animals. We wanted the barn to look exactly like our barn. The 18 7 is a super recognizable part of our barn as well as the layout of the building. With those changes, we knew that it would make the barn look exactly like ours! We made a few changes to the look of Grace & Winnie to make sure the drawings look like them in real life.
Something we wanted to figure out was how to bring a rainbow into the book! Rainbows mean so much to us so we really thought it would great to bring a rainbow into the book in some way. Copey is our rainbow baby & his middle name is Beau, so we thought this could be a nice way to bring him into the book. The sheep that was carrying Grace was actually thought to have miscarried. My friend, Abby, owns Grace’s mom and last-minute called me to share that the sheep didn’t miscarry and was actually birthing triplets. So Grace was technically a rainbow baby lamb! When Grace was born she was rejected by her mom, so she came to live with us right away. The sun on the front of the book represents a fresh start & new day for Grace in our family. The rainbow on the back of the book represents the hope at the end of a storm, new life, and the joy to come!
These were the first full-color images for the cover page we were given! At this stage, we were deciding color palette and font styles that we liked for the title. Our changes were primarily to the colors, we wanted a shift from the brighter pastel style to a little more muted, watercolor style. It was so surreal to see the book really start to come to life at this stage. I loved seeing how accurate the farm and animals were, it is something that I could have never created myself so it was incredible to see this brought to life by the artist. Jose was really happy to see how well the artist was able to capture and convey our story from their perspective. We provided the artist with photos and blog posts to help them create these characters and our farm, so it was really incredible to see how well Katie did all of that on her own!
We were so happy to see how well the artist was able to capture the farm and turn our vision into a reality. I think you will really see throughout the book that she did so much more than just draw our farm she truly captured the feelings, emotions, and life here at White Cottage Farm. Once we finalized the cover, the illustrator continued with the rest of the story. The illustrator did an incredible job incorporating lots of special elements into the book to show our home. One thing you’ll notice throughout the book is that the timeline isn’t completely accurate but it was really important to us that everyone is included in the story. We wanted all of the animals we’ve had at our farm to be included in the book, as well as including Copey in the story. A strong underlying message in the book is our adoption story, we want the messaging to share that love is what makes a family!
The Final Cover
I hope this helps you understand the meaning of our book of We Belong To Each Other! So much has gone into bringing this children’s book to you. We can’t wait until March 9th for the release of our book, thank you for your support! We hope you love reading this story with the kids in your life.