Hullo guys, let me introduce you to "Spell & Spindle", a middle grade novel written by Michelle Schusterman and published by Penguin Random House. I was blessed enough to be commissioned to d0 the cover & spot illustrations throughout the book. Set in the 1952, "Spell & Spindle" is a story about a child-size marionette from The Museum of Peculiar Arts called Penny, and a boy name Chance. In some magical way, things changed and they swapped souls. I love the story when I first read it, moreover because most of the scenes were set in this peculiar museum with all its oddities. It also allowed me to explore a lot of strange, yet whimsical objects & characters that I've never done before.

Here are some cover sketches for the first round submission. When I read the script, I really want to make it in black & white with only a pop of colour. I think the duo-tone-look really suits the mood of the story. When I think of that, this particular green colour become really prominent in my head. I feel that this green gives a right amount of peculiarity & weirdness to the overall look. Since it has this 50s mood in the story, I explored some options playing around with old book formats & layouts.
Option 1: Featuring the main characters, Penny The Marionette & Chance, with some key elements from the story (like Museum of Peculiar Art & the spindle threading machine).
Option 2: Honestly, this back cover is my favorite of all (and how I wished this got chosen). It is from the scene where Chance swapped his soul with Penny.
Option 3: The option that is chosen for the final cover :)
Option 4: This option featured the oddities that are written in the book. The museum is a main theme in this cover because the story is kind of revolving around the place.
Here is the final cover that got chosen. In the end, we decided to have it fully coloured. Colourful, but still keep it muted enough somehow to keep the right mood of the story.
Jacket illustration for "Spell & Spindle"
Here are the spot illustrations which you can find throughout the book. The spot illustrations will appeared on the beginning of each chapter and it represents most of the interesting oddities that you can find in The Museum of Peculiar Arts in the story...
The illustrated title in the beginning of the book
Penny, the Marionette
The Old Radio, this object plays an important part of the story as well
Crocodile Fossil
Skeleton of a fairy
Scissor & Thread
Mechanic Heart
Museum of The Peculiar Art
Corals, Black Pearls & other oddities
Chance's hand holding the thread
The book will be in hard cover, and will be available in stores by 31st July!
If you are interested to pre-order "Spell & Spindle", you can purchase it here. It is available on e-book too.
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Spell & Spindle

Spell & Spindle

Illustrations I did for "Spell & Spindle", a middle grade novel by Michelle Schusterman (Published by Penguin Random House).