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by Jessica Whipple

Wow, it’s such a *gift* to be doing a cover reveal here on Tara Lazar’s blog. Thank you, Tara, and thanks for asking me to share a bit about how my debut picture book ENOUGH IS… came to be.

This was the first picture book idea I had, which came to me verbatim as a line of text, before I had ever considered writing picture books. It later became the last line of the book. (I won’t spoil it here, but you’ll remember if you *hopefully* read it.)

I wanted to find a way to help kids sense that fuzzy boundary between a little and a lot, between wants and needs… to discover Enough. As a parent I was struggling to explain this concept to my kiddos, then ages nearly 5 and nearly 2.

"Enough" in quick-script hand lettering, in purple

I see a movement to understand the concept of Enough, even in the grown-up world. It’s what’s behind capsule wardrobes and tiny houses, right? It’s why we feel so much freedom when we simplify. And if we all strived not for more but for Enough, think of how things could be different! I wanted to ask kids, “Do you know Enough when you see it?”

I pressed into my initial idea and kept jotting down thoughts. I wondered what Enough could be if it were something in a kiddo’s world. I wondered what it *wouldn’t* be. And I wondered what would happen if I tried to write all of this into a picture book so kids might understand.

That’s how I work, sometimes—I like to try a thing to “see what happens.” So I researched and took in everything I could about the kidlit industry—agents, submissions, critique groups, writing, illustrators, etc. With two daughters and an overflowing library bag, I already had the requisite exposure to picture books.

I kept working on the idea and pushed it to the first draft stage, and on and on from there. To make a long publishing story short, here we are! I’m grateful to Jonathan Eaton at Tilbury House, to Nicole Wong who so beautifully illustrated the book, to my critique partners and readers along the way, and to my agent Emily Keyes.

Of course I’m still learning to understand all of this in my own adult life. I likely will be forever! But perhaps this book can help get kids thinking about it now, before that fuzzy boundary disappears altogether.

And now for the cover…

"Enough is..." cover with title in quick-script handwriting with young Asian girl in an "oh" expression, long hair flowing, holding two purple flowers while two others blow away. The girl is wearing yellow rain boots and standing on a faint rainbow on the sidewalk.

Thanks for sharing your debut cover with us, Jessica!

Jessica is also giving away two prizes—a picture book critique or a 30-minute brain-picking session via Zoom. Two random winners will be selected and they can choose either prize.

Leave one comment below to enter.

Two random winners will be chosen next month.

Good luck!

ENOUGH IS… will be released from Tilbury House on March 7, 2023 and is available for pre-order (and then signed/personalized) from Jessica’s local indie. 


Credit: Nick Gould

Jessica Whipple has a background in marketing and communications. She has worked as a copywriter and in communications for a Pennsylvania nonprofit. She also writes poetry for adults and children. She and her husband and two daughters recently moved from Pittsburgh to Lancaster, PA. This is Jessica’s first children’s book. To learn more, visit AuthorJessicaWhipple.com or follow her @JessicaWhippl17 on Twitter.


Credit: Dan Medeiros

Nicole Wong was raised by a designer/painter dad and a fashion illustrator mom and never thought of becoming anything except an illustrator. She has illustrated over twenty-five children’s books including THREE LOST SEEDS (Tilbury House, 2019) and I’LL BE THE WATER (Tilbury House, 2020). Her illustrations for KIYOSHI’S WALK (Lee and Low, 2021) earned starred reviews from Kirkus (“captivating”) and SLJ (“wonderful”).

 

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Coming soon:


TIME FLIES
"7 ATE 9/PRIVATE I" BOOK #3
illus by Ross MacDonald
Little, Brown
April 26, 2022

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