See How Editor and Artist Get All the Pictures to Work!

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Michelle McCann and Aiko Ikegami
video thumb, editor Michelle McCann
Aiko Ikegami image from Eric A. Kimmel's

Children's Book Illustration Close-Up

You'll Enjoy this Book Design Debrief

In this memorable online session author-illustrator Aiko Ikegami and editor/art director Michelle McCann walk through their process for West Margin's Press re-release of Why Worry?, the picture book by Eric A. Kimmel.

Collaborating on a new look for an older book

Michelle and Aiko spent more than three months just fine-tuning rough pencil thumbnails before Aiko could start on the final paintings. Here they walk us through their process and explain the challenges they met – changes and tweaks, picture flow and 'page turns' – as the story text was married to Aiko's irresistible art.

The long and winding road to 'finish'.

Re-imagining a classic story with a new cover and new appealing visual characters. The illustrator, Aiko Ikegami is also the author-illustrator of Seed Man, Friends, a Cover to Cover Books for Young Reader (CCBC) Choices Winner and Hello, which won the Junior Library Gold Standard Selection award and was named to ​Kirkus Best Picture Books of 2019

See the final art!

Watch author Eric A Kimmel's read-through of Why Worry, with Aiko's illustrations. Kimmel is the author of over 150 books for children, including the classics Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock and the 1990 Caldecott Award Honor Book Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins.

Behind the Scenes: From thumbnails to book shelves

The art director works with the illustrator the way an editor works with the author, says Michelle McCann, who works as both editor and/or art director on about 100 children's picture book titles per year.  Michelle and Aiko share how they navigated through pages of editor's notes and four rounds of sketches for Why Worry?

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