Because of Winn Dixie

because of winn dixie

Year Published:  December 8, 2015 (Available for pre-order)

Written by: Kate DiCamillo

Cover illustration by: E.B. Lewis

amazon logo crop

An unforgettable first novel about coming of age one sweet summer—and learning to love what you have.

Recent commentary on E.B. Lewis’s cover illustration, by Jennifer Brown, at Shelf Awareness …

E.B. Lewis hadn’t read Because of Winn-Dixie before Chris Paul [Candlewick Press creative director] sent it to him with an invitation to re-illustrate the cover. “The story touched me in ways you wouldn’t believe,” said Lewis. “I had a dog, his name was Harry. My dog Harry reminds me of [Winn-Dixie] so much, it was an opportunity to paint with my heart.” Lewis said that Paul asked him to paint the dog standing up, but the artist wanted to portray him seated, the way he remembered his own dog, filled with barely contained energy. “With Harry, when I drove up in my driveway, he would sit like that, and he’d prance [using only] his front feet.”

Lewis does not do sketches. “There’s something about the immediacy that happens in a sketch that I want to go over into my finished art. If I try to translate that into the final piece, I can’t get it.” In essence, he “sketches” with his watercolor brush, and if it’s not working, he starts over. The white that readers can see in the painting is the bare watercolor paper. “My gift is emotion,” Lewis said. That makes him an excellent match to the words that follow. —Jennifer M. Brown