Friday, April 29, 2016

Cody and Grandpa's Christmas Tradition Cover Reveal!

I am excited to be able to share the cover for the picture book I illustrated, Cody and Grandpa's Christmas Tradition by Gary Metivier. I love Christmas and all the family traditions that come with it. I have many fond memories of my family's Christmas traditions, so when I first read Cody and Grandpa's Christmas Tradition, I was thrilled to be considered to illustrate the touching tale. It was particularly fun to have been painting this cover and the interior spreads during the Christmas season last year. This is a very touching tale that tugged at my heartstrings. I hope my illustrations stir fond memories in you too.

Coming September 1, 2016
Cody and Grandpa's Christmas Tradition by Gary Metivier, illustrated by Traci Van Wagoner
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Inc. (September 1, 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 1455621706
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455621705
  • Release Date: September 2016 
  • Pre-order at Amazon here

Book Summary
A boy and his grandfather remember those who served.
It’s Christmas Eve, and Cody’s family has all gathered for their traditional Christmas party—all except Grandpa, who is sitting quietly in his room, looking out his window at the cloudy sky. Grandpa tells Cody about his time in Vietnam and the Christmas Eve when a bright star appeared through the clouds, giving the soldiers hope. All of the men promised to look for the star every year and remember each other and those who didn’t come home. Cody makes a new tradition: now the whole family will join Grandpa in looking for the star. This touching family story, accompanied by rich illustrations, tells the importance of traditions and honoring those who served their country.
“Those who survived Vietnam came home with a wisdom that only war can teach but a wisdom whose truth must be shared and passed on to our children and their children. Unfortunately, many of us returned from war unable to find the way nor the words to share what we had learned. Gary Metivier has found a way . . . has found the words to share some of those lessons about life.”
—Gary Beikirch, Medal of Honor Recipient
Sergeant, Ret. 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces

“Christmas in a combat zone is a time to reflect and look back. It was a pause in the chaos . . . a time of peace. After reading Cody and Grandpa’s Christmas Tradition, I was filled with the memories of my brothers.”
—Capt. William “Hawk” Albracht (Ret.)
US Army Special Forces, Recipient of 3 Silver Stars, 5 Bronze Stars, and 3 Purple Hearts

About the Author:
Gary Metivier is an award-winning author and journalist. A television-news anchor, he enjoys covering a variety of subjects. The author of Saluting Grandpa: Celebrating Veterans and Honor Flight, Metivier lives in Davenport, Iowa, with his wife, two sons, two dogs, and one pot-bellied pig. 
Connect with Gary Metivier

About the Illustrator:
 Traci Van Wagoner earned bachelor of fine arts degrees in illustration and advertising design from Utah State University and in toy design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. In addition to book illustration, Van Wagoner writes, designs toys and characters, and paints portraits. She is a long-standing member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Van Wagoner lives in New York City, where she and her husband run their product development company, Imagine That! Design.
Connect with Traci Van Wagoner
Your thoughts:
And there you have a taste of what is to come. I hope you are as excited as I am to see the book in print. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Are you looking forward to reading this book when released? Do you have Christmas family traditions close to your heart? Do you have a relative who served in the Vietnam war? Feel free to share in the comments.