Homer: The Cover

When we first started this book, we wanted use parodies of real baseball players’ names. Babe Woof would be the star. We planned to use the Cocker Spaniel from Dogs Don’t Brush Their Teeth! as the model. We presented the dummy to our editor at Scholastic.
Scholastic was interested in our story but were reluctant to use names that were similar to real players without permission from Major League Baseball. So we thought of other titles:
Scholastic also requested a Golden Retriever be the star, as that’s one of the most popular breeds. We named him Homer.
Shelley photographed her brother’s dog Casey for the book.
Since Casey only liked tennis balls, not baseballs, we didn’t have a good picture of him with a baseball in his mouth. Using Photoshop, Diane pieced together the final image for the cover from several different photographs and added the baseball.
Then Diane worked on the design and hand lettered the title to match sports embroidery. One idea was to mimic a baseball card design.
Scholastic didn’t like the baseball card theme, so we changed it back to the original sketch idea.
We finally decided to simplify the design and delete the moon from the background. But we left the night sky and stars. We really liked this cover. But the Scholastic sales people thought it looked too gloomy with the dark background.
We changed it to daytime. This is the final design that was approved. Notice that the Scholastic designer changed the title font.