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"Behind the book"

A behind-the-scenes video detailing the process of writing and illustrating Home in the Woods.


Eliza Wheeler is an illustrator and author of books for kids, teens, and the young at heart. Her book Miss Maple’s Seeds was a NYT bestseller, and her book Home in the Woods was dubbed “Gorgeous” by the New York Times book review. Eliza is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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‘ROSA’ Art Walkthrough

April 24, 2024

It’s always fun to see the progression of art from start to finish, and I love being able to share all the work that goes into each page of a picture book. Here’s a walkthrough of one of my favorite pieces for ‘WHAT ROSA BROUGHT’, by author Jacob Sager Weinstein about his mother’s childhood story of escaping the Nazis in Vienna in 1938-9. Before revisiting my art process for this page, I had forgotten that this was my original layout (in blue) for the thumbnail/storyboard sketches. This scene is a KEY MOMENT in the story, when Rosa is considering what…

Making the ‘ROSA’ Art: Colors

March 26, 2024

Another ‘Behind-the-scenes’ peak into the art-making process for ‘What Rosa Brought’, and one of my favorite stages of book design – creating the color palette. I could spend a year painting nothing but color swatches!  The first step to inspiring the colors was to draw from historic photos, 1930’s art, photos of Vienna, and other book artists color palettes that I loved (shown: Felicita Sala, Janet Hill, Laura Carlin). I start digitally in Procreate. Then the fun part…finding the hues in watercolor, honing in on which tubes of pain I’ll use and how they mix together. I separate these into light,…

Making the ‘ROSA’ Art: Character Design

March 14, 2024

Some ‘Behind-the-scenes’ art-making for ‘What Rosa Brought’ (releasing in UK bookstores March 2024)… In the earliest stages of making art for books I tend to focus on characters first (especially in the case of non-fiction books). Rosa is based on author Jacob Sager Weinstein’s mother as a child, and her parents and grandma are 3 other key characters in the book. Jacob shared these beautiful family photographs below, which lived pinned over my drawing table for the full year that I worked on the book, watching over the project. I looked into their eyes on a daily basis. On the right…

Shepherd’s Book List: Top 3 of 2023

January 26, 2024

I was invited back by Shepherd to share a list of 3 books that I read and loved in 2023 (not necessarily published in 2023). I chose: To read my summaries of and why I loved these books, visit: Eliza Wheeler’s 3 favorite reads in 2023(I was thrilled to learn of Vashti Harrison’s Caldecott win for BIG! Go Vashti!) To see the top 100 books read and chosen by authors in 2023, visit: Shepherd’s Top 100 Books Read in 2023