Say hello, world, to the cover illustration for my newest novel for kids:
Coming in June 2012 from Margaret K. McElderry Books, it's a re-imagining of the Pied Piper tale...and yet, that only begins to describe the story.
There is so much I love about this cover, and I find something new to love every time I look at it. The boy (our hero, Rudi) looks exactly like I've always imagined him -- right down to the lederhosen! He's innocent, but brave; a reluctant hero who rises to every challenge (and there are many).
And the Fiddler: yikes, how menacing! Even more menacing than the rats. And if you look closely, you can see rats at his feet, too. Gives me shivers.
What I love most about this cover, though, is how very many details and elements of the story are included in this picture; and yet, it's not a mish-mosh; it's a cohesive picture, which itself tells a story (without giving away too many secrets).
I can't wait to hear reactions from readers: What do you expect the story to be like, now that you've seen this picture?