Books

Cinderella and Resilience

Today I’m introducing the latest two books I had the pleasure of working on. Both have really meaningful and empowering messages and one determined and brave main character.

Cinderella

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What if Cinderella solved her own problems? What if she didn’t have to be saved by a prince to deal with the stepfamily that chose to be mean to her? This revised fairytale is created by Imaginare Studios, a media company working on solving the confidence gap between men and women by targeting the content we read as very young children, using emotional developmental milestones as a guide. These emotional milestones are reflected in this revised classic for modern children; our young protagonist, Danielle, learns to address her challenges in relationship with her stepsisters, but in doing so creates her own adventure that has nothing to do with being saved by a prince!

Written by Kali Bhandari and published in April 2018 by Imaginare Studios, the book is now available at Amazon and Book Depository.

Here’s a little about Imaginare Studios: Our vision is to create content for young children focused on emotional developmental milestones with the goal of building self-confidence. After research into gender roles, confidence, and child development, what we have learned is that children’s most emotionally formative years are ages 0-5, but most confidence-building materials are focused on ages 10+. These materials miss the most powerful developmental opportunity. We propose to solve that problem by providing content to young children that focuses on major emotional and psychological milestones for young children, namely attachment, autonomy and the ability to self-soothe, emotional capacity and social values.

So happy to see that Cinderella is being so well received. ♡

The goal of this book is to provide an enjoyable story that serves as a mechanism for your child exploring emotional ability, autonomy, and the ability to self-soothe. You may also find that your children, especially older readers familiar with the original version of Cinderella, are immediately inspired to pen their own version after reading!

“As first-time publishers, working with Sofia was like a dream come true. Her beautiful illustrations aren’t just enchanting; they take the story of Danielle, our erstwhile Cinderella, forward in ways that we had not even thought about. As she created the sketches, our own image of Cinderella became clearer; who she was, what motivated her, how a girl of her age would act in a forest; all signs of a true artist. But working with Sofia is not just about her talent with illustrating, it is also all the other things she brings to the table: she became a fourth member of our team as she gently led us through the vagaries of printing, self-publishing, book designing, and thinking about how the story would be laid out for young readers, along with her utter belief in our company’s mission, going above and beyond the call of duty each time.” – Imaginare Studios

Resilience

Meet Emmi! She is resilient, independent and courageous. She always tries her best, and even when the going gets tough, Emmi never gives in. This charming story uses verse and beautiful illustrations to model resilience, persistence, and the ability to face challenges with tenacity. Children who are resilient are brave, curious, confident and problem solvers. Nurturing these traits in our children will go a long way in helping them face the many challenges they will encounter throughout their lives. Also included are Discussion Questions for parents, caregivers and educators, and suggested activities to promote children’s resilience.

Written by Jayneen Sanders and published by Educate2Empower, the book is available at their website shop, Amazon and Book Depository. It was my second time working with Jay (read more about our first collaboration) and once again it was a pleasure working with her and making her story come to life through Emmi – her adventures made me reminiscence so many childhood moments so I really had a lot of fun illustrating the growth and adventures of this little girl.

If you enjoyed any of this books and share them on social media, be sure to tag me and the authors on your photos – we would love to see them :) Meanwhile, you can follow me on Instagram/Twitter to keep up with latest projects and see works in progress.

The Social Butterfly

the social butterfly

It’s publication day! Happy book birthday to “The Social Butterfly”, written by Beth Bracken, illustrated by me and published by Picture Window Books!

Charlotte loves talking, singing, and playing. What Charlotte doesn’t love is sitting still, being quiet, and listening, which is a big problem at school. Will Charlotte be able to modify her behavior and learn when to be social and when to be quiet? A sweet and relatable picture book story that shines a light on social behaviors.

Fun fact: Charlotte’s story reminds me a little bit of my school years – from 4th until the 6th grade, I was quite the chatterbox (to the point I had teachers sending notes to my parents, ups) and avid textbook doodler, on both mine and my friends’ books. Then when I entered high school my personality became more introverted, but the doodling part remained. The books I shared with one of my best friends during philosophy class is filled with tiny doodles (mostly food, lots of sandwiches and random spaghetti dishes, not sure why, ahah). I should find that book and share some of those doodles!

Below are a few online reviews – these were based on the ARC and in case you are wondering, yes, she was purple at the beginning and yes, the cover also changed quite  a bit. We went back and forth with her coloring, but in the end we ended up with the version you see in the photo. (more…)

Book Wishlist | August 2017


Summer is almost over and the truth is I was only able to read two books since June, well, maybe six coutning picture books too. On the other hand, since my September wishlist I found a lot of new series and got completely hooked on pretty much all of Jenny Colgan’s series. I’m currently devouring “Meet me at the cupcake café” and I already got the second one to read during the Holidays (the story happens during Christmas so it is going to be the perfect time to start it). As for picture books, this year has been full of amazing debuts and the amount of stunning picture books that have been coming out is making my little working shelf turn into a tiny library corner – they even are organised by color!!

Have you read anything interesting this Summer? I would love to get new suggestions, so feel free to share your current favorites down below too.

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You, Me and Empathy

On 15th of June I was finally able to reveal a project that I have been working on since last year with the lovely Jayneen SandersYou, Me and Empathy. Jayneen is an experienced author, publisher, elementary school teacher, mother of three and an active advocate for body safety, gender equality and respectful relationship education both in homes and in schools. Her books aim to educate and empower children, as well as, the adults who care for them, while focusing on themes like body safety, gender equality and consent.

This charming story uses verse, beautiful illustrations and a little person called Quinn to model the meaning of empathy. Throughout the story, Quinn shows an abundance of understanding, compassion and kindness towards others. Showing empathy towards others is a learnt trait, and one to nurture and cherish with the children in our care. The book includes a section with discussion questions and activities for parents, caregivers and educators to promote empathy and kindness.

I feel very grateful to have illustrated this lovely project – it was wonderful working on such an inspiring and engaging book and I really enjoyed helping little Quinn come to life. Below is a one of my favorite pages from the book: I loved working on this community garden scene, it reminded me of (more…)

Book Wishlist | September 2016

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I decided to start a new series where I share my current wishlist on books. I enjoy reading a lot! I consider myself a bibliophile and somewhat, don’t tell anyone, a book hoarder. I’ll be sharing a little bit of everything, from picturebooks to fiction and carreer handbooks.

My So-Called Freelance Life : How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire
Author: Michelle Goodman
My So-Called Freelance Life is a how-to guidebook for women who want to avoid the daily grind and turn their freelance dreams into reality. Michelle Goodman, author of The Anti 9-to-5 Guide and self-proclaimed former “wage slave,” offers tips, advice, how-to’s, and everything else a woman needs to pursue a freelance career.

Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2017
NEW articles for the 2017 edition included on: – Wanting to be a writer by Simon Mason – Finding new readers and markets by Tom Palmer – News and trends in children’s publishing 2015-16 by Caroline Horn – Series fiction: writing as a part of a team by Lucy Courtenay – Creating a children’s comic by Tom Fickling. The essential guide for any writer for children.

A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book : 95 Inspiring Ideas for Photographing Your Friends, Your World, and Yourself
Author: Elsie Larson, Emma Chapman from A Beautiful Mess (by far my favorite lifestyle blog)
Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman, creators of the mega-popular DIY style blog A Beautiful Mess, are in love with photographing everyday life. Here, they share that love with 95 all-new tips and photo challenges that will inspire you to style and snap better photos and then transform them into simple yet stunning projects and gifts.

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Book Review | Graphic Artist Guild Handbook

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I’m one of those people that have two wish list Pinterest boards on books, one for business and career and another for any book that catches my interest, that can compete with the other boards regarding the amount of pins inside. Somehow every time I manage to get one off the list, three more end up there and I like to think that “I don’t have many books, I have too little shelving”.

Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines by Graphic Artists Guild, has been on my wish list for almost 2 years and recently I managed to get a good deal on it through my favorite and go to online shop for books.
When I received it in the mail I was really surprised because I wasn’t expecting it to be so big and heavy (it’s almost the size of an A4 paper with an approx 3,5 cm in thickness) which doesn’t make it very travel friendly. Two bowls of blueberries and a whole weekend was all it took me to go through it. I was a little overwhelmed with all the resources and information so I wanted to go through it a second a time and organize its content in a way I could easily find any topic whenever I needed. I have now 23 little markers on the book marking the topics and themes I know that will be helpful on a daily basis.

“While technology has created the constant need for graphic artists to stay informed and upgrade their skills, it also has made possible a multitude of convenient, professional development and sharing opportunities – many of them free – via online courses, tutorials, blogs, webinars, podcasts, and professionals groups and social networking sites. At no time in history have creative professionals been more connected.” (page 78)

The book is organized in 15 chapters followed by an Appendix with contracts and forms, a Glossary and membership documents to join the Graphic Artists Guild. Each chapter focus on a different theme, although you’ll be able to find different information about certain topics scattered in different chapters. For example, regarding the Greeting Card industry, I have pages marked on both the Graphic Design (page 177) and Illustration (page 241) chapters. (more…)