Endpapers just fascinate me!
Some are just exquisite while some are subtle and beautiful. I love how some show a sneak peek of what is to come in the story. I see endpapers as a big hug - embracing the story within.
I wonder why some endpapers have illustrations on them while others don’t. Why were these precious pages missed? Does it have something to do with balancing costs, or did the illustrator just run out of time?
But first, I want to share with you the endpapers of ‘Dandelions’. There is a story behind them and I’d love to share it with you.
A few years ago, while I was trying to find a publisher who believed in ‘Dandelions’ as much as I did, I asked Kirrili Lonergan to draw me one illustration I could attach to my cover letter and manuscript to send to publishers. While this is not encouraged generally in the industry, I was hoping a publisher might see how our styles matched and contract us as an author/illustrator team.
This was a HUGE dream (and I know some of you are thinking it bordered on ridiculous!). As most of you know, new authors usual get teamed up with an established illustrator, and vice versa, and the publisher chooses that team.
Illustration by Kirrili Lonergan
It was absolutely beautiful! I ran the risk of a publisher loving her style and talent and not liking my story or writing style. A huge risk!
After my manuscript and Kirrili’s drawing travelled around Australia for a while, and then came home to rest without finding a home, I decided to shelve it for 12 months.
Eventually, thanks to a writing competition, my manuscript gained the attention of a publisher. That publisher then asked me if I had an illustration style in mind that I thought would match my manuscript. Of course I suggested Kirrili’s style and submitted the original illustration that had accompanied my manuscript around the country. That publisher agreed … and she also suggested we make the original illustration design the endpapers.
Here is what the final endpapers look like in ‘Dandelions’:
Illustration by Kirrili Lonergan
So back to me rummaging through my picture book collection …
FYI: The photos are not as beautiful as the real thing!
Change from front one to back one:
From 'Banjo and Ruby Red' by Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood
'Sad, The Dog' by Sandy Fussell and Tull Suwannakit
Isn't it lovely when the endpapers show change.
Alison Lester also does this in 'Are We There Yet?'.
Bold and beautiful:
'An Aussie Year' by Tanya McCartney & Tina Snerling
'Dandelions' by Katrina McKelvey and Kirrili Lonergan
'Lessons of a LAC' by Lynn Jenkins & Kirrili Lonergan
Subtle and beautiful:
'Davy and the Duckling' by Margaret Wild & Julie Vivas
'All Through the Year' by Jane Godwin & Anna Walker
'Today We Have No Plans' by Jane Godwin & Anna Walker
'No Bears' by Meg McKinlay and Leila Rudge
'Too Busy Sleeping' by Zanni Louise & Anna Pignataro
'The Day the Crayons Quit' by Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers
'Rat in a Stripy Sock' by Frances Watts & David Francis
'Old Tom - Man of Mystery' by Leigh Hobbs
'Jam for Nana' by Deborah Kelly and Lisa Stewart
Note: These little dots represent fingerprints made from eating apricot jam. I wonder if Lisa actually made apricot jam fingerprints to see what they would look like. They look real to me!
'There’s a Monster Under My Bed Who Farts' by Tim Miller and Matt Stanton
Note: I love how these endpapers represent fart gas. So clever!
So go and have a rummage through hardcover picture books and look at endpapers. I wonder if any of them have their own story to tell? Do your endpapers have a story? Please share! Enjoy your hunt!
Our ‘Dandelions’ journey can be read in more detail here.
You can buy a copy of 'Dandelions' here.