STEP RIGHT UP has a Cover!


Step Right Up cover hi res

It’s been a long wait, but so very worth it! I am thrilled to share the cover for STEP RIGHT UP: HOW DOC AND JIM KEY TAUGHT THE WORLD ABOUT KINDNESS, coming this fall from Lee and Low Books. Illustrated by Daniel Minter. I could not be more thrilled.

I’ve never met Daniel, though I hope to in the near future. Authors and illustrators rarely communicate about their books. Editors are the matchmakers, finding the perfect artist to bring a text to life, as if setting up creative blind dates. And, boy, did my Lee and Low editors choose well!  When I heard that Daniel Minter had signed on to illustrate my book, I was elated. Seriously, elated! Daniel is so multi-talented and his art is profound, evidenced by their presence in museums and galleries. He designed the 2004 and 2011 Kwanzaa stamps for the USPS, and he’s the founding director of the Maine Freedom Trails. Then there are his books! He has illustrated nine children’s books, earning the 2013 Coretta Scott King award in the process.

When Daniel first signed on to illustrate STEP RIGHT UP (Thank you, Daniel!)  I introduced myself via Facebook. I then sent him photos, a model of the horse, and other historical information that I thought might be helpful as he brought the true story of Dr. William Key and Beautiful Jim Key to life through art. I assured him that I would not be a helicopter author, hovering over his progress. (Not that I wasn’t tempted.) I still haven’t seen all of the interior art, but what I have seen is spectacular. I can’t wait for you all to see it, too.

Daniel kindly shared this photo of one of the book’s scenes as it was in progress. The multi-step process of  lino-cut art is pure artistry, don’t you think? Illustration, carving, and painting combined.  Look at those details being carved into focus. I am in awe! And I know Doc Key would be as proud as I am.

From Daniel 3:10:2016

An image from STEP RIGHT UP in progress. Such detail!


IMG_1627a 5 x 7 Donna Janell Bowman is the author of the forthcoming picture books, STEP RIGHT UP: HOW DOC AND JIM KEY TAUGHT THE WORLD ABOUT KINDNESS (Lee and Low, 2016), EN GARDE! ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S DUELING WORDS (Peachtree, 2018), and KING OF THE TIGHTROPE: WHEN THE GREAT BLONDIN RULED NIAGARA (Peachtree, 2019), as well as books for the education market. She is currently an MFA student at Vermont College of Fine Arts.


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13 responses to “STEP RIGHT UP has a Cover!

  1. Congratulations, Donna. So happy for you.


  2. Janet Fox

    I love that cover!! Congrats, Donna!


  3. Wonderful cover congratulations on its upcoming release.


  4. Elly Swartz

    I love the cover and can’t wait to read the book. And, the interior art looks truly beautiful. A truly special story! A huge congrats.


  5. Rebecca Van Slyke

    Donna, I am so excited to see this! It’s been a long time in the making, but WELL worth the wait!


  6. Wow! I love it. Thanks for sharing the image of “The multi-step process of lino-cut art” . . . that’s amazing!


  7. So exciting. It’s getting real. Really real.


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