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"The Dragon of Bethlehem" cover illustration

I had the pleasure to design and illustrate the cover of this young adults book titled “The Dragon of Bethlehem” who’s theme is one that’s close to my heart.
This story is about a Palestinian boy, Khader, living in Dheisheh camp in Betlehem. With the absence of his father, who’s in a mental hospital because of the war, Khader gets bullied at school. Being in a besieged camp, Khader has never been outside the camp, has never seen the ocean, or Jerusalem. But the strange appearance of a dragon, brings hope (and adventures) to Khader’s life.

The Dragon is only visible to Khader which explains the concept of the sleeve (see below)

Written by: Hooda Shawa
Published by: Tamer Institute
Cover concept and illustration by me and colored by Maya Akiki

Book cover illustration Dragon of Bethlehem
Magical book cover illustration Bethlehem

A close up on the illustration

Magical book cover illustration Dragon of Bethlehem

Sleeve and book design

In the story the dragon is only visible to Khader, which is why I designed the book to have a sleeve that hides the dragon from the illustration all while keeping Khader in the composition.

The inside pages design is very minimal. The focus was on making the story as legible and fun to read as possible through the choice of typeface, spaces, margins, tracking, leading etc.