Archive of Letters and Voices • Christine Kendall
• 8 January 2021
If you could write and illustrate a book about yourself what would the book cover look like? A young reader posed that question toward the end of a book club visit. It’s a good question and one I’d never been asked before. My first thought, I’ll admit, was that my drawing skills are so bad that any illustrations coming from me would have to be abstract. I said that out loud and noticed a few smiles, but the question remained. “What would your book cover look like?” This insightful student was asking me about my essence.
I’m afraid the garbled answer I gave, something about a turntable and someone dancing, didn’t really answer the question about what is fundamental to me. I knew in that moment that I’d want my book cover to convey a sense of joy but I struggled to come up with an image that would signify great happiness.
So, here’s my belated response to the question about my book cover along with my wish for you. My book cover would look like the first rays of light stretching across the morning sky at sunrise. Imagine that. My book cover would feel like the comforting touch of a friend’s hand on your shoulder. It would sound like songbirds in spring and what would it smell like? My book cover would have the delicious aroma of fresh baked cookies. These simple things bring joy and they’re all around us. It’s just a matter of opening your eyes so you can see the magic in our everyday lives.
My wish for you is that you will always be open to joy. That you will always see the light in a friendly smile and not be afraid to return it.