The DESIGN of the books is simply amazing! Our Art Director, Candice, really outdid herself We cannot be more impressed with her work and dedication to this series! Look how beautiful the INSIDE design is:
I wish I could show you ALL of the inside designs. Each one has a color theme that just blows us away! The design concept...all the touches you can't see, makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
The series was not our idea. We were approached by ABDO to write it. John (my husband) and I were excited but a bit nervous as we had many elements we had to mesh together. While we had written/published historical fiction before, we didn't actually use real people in our past stories...just historical events but with fictional characters. And time travel proved to be very tricky especially because we had to find a pivotal moment in our artist's life. BUT, our incredible, insightful, editor, Tam, was SPOT ON with each and every piece of feedback/advice given. John and I will be forever grateful to Tam for keeping us focused and pushing us to dig deeper into our characters. I've published dozens of books and truly think they are the strongest books I've written.
John and I had worked on two past books together. One was a book for Scholastic's Book Club and the other was The Johnstown Flood.
Illustrated by Dana Martin
John is a stickler for historical detail and spent hundreds of hours researching the lives of the people above. This project was especially intriguing for John because, as an English major in college, he had a few classes of Shakespeare and a class just about the influence of Mary Shelley. We were both excited about writing about Monet because we visited his home in Giverny, France while on our honeymoon. Ella was the one we started off pretty much knowing very little but it ended up to be my favorite of the group. We're huge Ella fans now! She was amazing and such a strong, determined person.
Here's a description of the series from ABDO's website:
Ella Fitzgerald was the queen of jazz. Mary Shelley created a monster. Claude Monet captured moments time with his paintbrush. William Shakespeare used language like no author before him. But what if their great works of art never existed? In the Art Of Time Travel, readers follow modern young people back in time and encounter each of these artists at a defining point in their lives. The artist is on the verge of making a choice that would deprive the world of his or her great art. Can our time travelers influence the past so the art will exist in the future? Calico is an imprint of Magic Wagon, a division of ABDO.
They should be available in your school library soon. If you read one, let us know what you thought!