Today is the day! Thanks so much for being part of this journey, everyone. Our hearts are overflowing with joy for the cover reveal of our newest book, My Monsterpiece by Amalia Hoffman.
The cover of My Monsterpiece. Behold!
A celebration of imagination, creativity, acceptance, and art that will delight children of all ages.
A kid-artist wants to frighten family members and friends by creating the scariest, meanest, most terrible monsters ever. But what happens when they smile, laugh, and absolutely LOVE the monsters rather than run away?
Join the frustrated artist on this hilariously hair-raising journey where the scary and not scary meet and mingle, embarking on an adventure that reveals that overcoming fear and prejudice can lead to a wonderful friendship.
With hand-drawn cutout illustrations, incorporating materials that kids actually use while making art, and a perfect mix of shivers and giggles, this bold, energetic picture book celebrates the power of a child’s imagination and appeals to a child’s love of the scary and the fun. This unique monster story touches on stereotyping and the fear of what is different in a way that young readers will relate to. It demonstrates that it’s possible to overcome bias, and helps children understand that acceptance and diversity make our lives far more colorful and enjoyable.
The English and Chinese editions of My Monsterpiece will be published by Yeehoo Press simultaneously in February 2021.
Amalia stopped by to share an inside peek at how this book was made. Amalia wrote the words in purple. Thank you, Amalia!
The journey of creating, My Monsterpiece, was one of incredible joy, hard work, fun, and struggles along the way. When I try to figure out how it started, I can’t pinpoint one particular moment.
I was always fascinated with monsters. Reading adult and children’s literature, I noticed that what we think is monstrous and fearsome is often what is unfamiliar to us, or “strange.”
The child in My Monsterpiece already has attributed monsters such common characteristics as, a long tongue, horns, sharp teeth, and claws.
As a children’s book creator, I feel that our society is diverse and it is possible for children to be accepting and overcome prejudice, stereotyping and bias.
But I wanted the book to be fun and humorous, so children could relate and enjoy the story.
That gave me an idea. What if I could turn the clock backward and envision myself as a child who tries to draw a monster? I remembered that I once entered a contest, sponsored by a children’s magazine, to draw a scary witch. Apparently, mine wasn’t scary enough because I didn’t win…
I envisioned a child who likes to draw scary monsters. Children are extremely resourceful. When the child realizes that none of the monsters are scary, the frustrated artist invents a little monster that is afraid of kids.
I decided to create my monsters with art supplies that kids actually use. Children are very free in their creative process. They’ll doodle on any torn paper, the kitchen table, wall — anything! Well, I didn’t doodle on my table or wall, but I did paint on a supermarket shopping bag, crumbled bits of paper, and even paper plates. In some illustrations, I glued on yarn, glitter, buttons and even fruit loops. Kids love to get their hands messy. So I dipped my fingers in gooey blobs of paint. It was very therapeutic. A lot of the art in the book was painted with my fingers, rather then with brushes. I also spritzed paint with a toothbrush, letting the bits of color drop where they may. At the end of the day, my studio was a mess but I felt liberated!
Working on revisions with the team at Yeehoo Press was pure joy! The editor, Brian Saliba, was extremely insightful. We brainstormed over the phone and through emails in figuring out the most fun way to make the text the best it could be.
The art director, Molly Shen and graphic designer, Xuyang Liu contributed suggestions concerning the illustrations. And Associate Publisher, Helen Wu coordinated the many discussions to make sure that we could all work successfully — as one team.
It takes a village to create a picture book and I couldn’t be more pleased!
Visit Amalia online at http://amaliahoffman.com/
Again, thanks so much, Amalia, for sharing your inside peek on this journey. We’ve made a small FREE gift for teachers, parents, kids, and book lovers, click HERE to download an activity sheet based on My Monsterpiece. Have fun!
Some wonderful giveaways will come soon. Stay tuned!