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  • Writer's pictureIshta Mercurio

Cover Collection 22: Special Guest Interview with Debbie Ohi, Author-Illustrator of Sam & Eva!

Welcome to Cover Collection, my (mostly) weekly blog series in which I talk about book covers I love and why I love them. This week, we have an extra-special post! The amazing, talented, and generous Debbie Ohi agreed to let me interview her about the cover of her picture book, SAM & EVA! When I first saw this cover, which was designed by Laurent Linn, I knew that I simply had to feature it: it just jumps off the shelves! Take a look:


When I first saw this cover, what jumped out at me was the bright yellow. It's a color that I hardly ever see on book covers. (Although after this book came out in 2017, yellow seemed to go through a revival! Maybe SAM & EVA was the begging of a trend!) I was curious about what had jumped out at Debbie, so I asked her:

Was there anything about the cover that surprised you when you first saw it?

Debbie: I am always blown away by Laurent Linn's design expertise! And I loved the embossing he gave to the title.

What always surprises and delights me: what Laurent does with the back cover and jacket flaps.

I love those jacket flaps, too! They're so playful. And the back cover is unlike anything I've ever seen before: it's like an extension of the story! Here's the full jacket so everyone can appreciate it:

Look at how the text pops!

What is your favorite thing about the cover of SAM & EVA?

It looks like candy to me. :-)

OMG, you're right! Now I want candy... How did you come up with the idea for the cover?

Laurent asked me to brainstorm some ideas, and these are some of the sketches I sent:

After this, we started narrowing it down. Laurent asked me to do revised versions of some of these covers, and eventually we settled on the versions of Eva and Sam interacting with the title text.

I love this collaborative process, and Laurent is such a brilliant designer.

Look at these two gorgeous humans! Photo by Debbie Ohi.

Aw, look at you two! I can tell that you love working together--the positive energy flows from this picture!

Big thanks to you, Debbie, for taking the time to appear on my blog today! I loved seeing these photos and hearing about your experience working on this cover.

Debbie Ridpath Ohi is the author-illustrator of Where Are My Books? and Sam & Eva (Simon & Schuster). Her illustrations also appear in books by Judy Blume, Michael Ian Black, Rob Sanders and Lauren McLaughlin, among others.

Her most recent book, I'M WORRIED, was written by Michael Ian Black and released on June 4th from Simon & Schuster. Kirkus called it "A great launchpad for sharing about worries and developing vocabulary for thorny feelings." For more info about Debbie and her books, see

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