Thank You, Neighbor!:
A Peek at Ruth Chan’s Drawing Table

h1 December 16th, 2021 by jules


It is a pleasure to have Ruth Chan visit 7-Imp today to share some preliminary images and final art (and neighbor photos!) from Thank You, Neighbor! (Harper, September 2021)

“Every day, we go for a walk,” the book opens. The child (who has, hands down, the best shirt) and pet dog you see pictured above take a walk through their truly diverse and inclusive neighborhood — taking their time (“even when the neighborhood is crowded”), stopping to say hello to neighbors, chatting with community workers (“our neighbors [that] keep us safe”), noticing how their neighbors take care of each other, and always saying “thank you,” even when things get busy. That’s the gist of the narrative here, and it somehow feels revolutionary in today’s world.

I love Chan’s crisp-lined illustrations in warm, candy colors. Take your time with this one; there are lots of delightful details to take in. (Here is the book’s closing note in which Ruth talks about her own Brooklyn neighborhood.) Ruth shares some illustrations below as well as some images from the making of the book. I thank her for visiting. (Oh! She also gives us all a peek at her next book.)

p.s. If you missed it this year, go find a copy of Adam Jay Epstein’s and Ruth’s wonderful Have You Seen Gordon? You can read more about it here in Betsy Bird’s post from yesterday on 2021 Unconventional Children’s Books.


Ruth’s Neighbor Photos:





Preliminary Images:


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Early jacket sketch
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Jacket sketch (pencil)
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In-process image of jacket
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In-process image of jacket
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Final cover
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Some Final Illustrations:


“Outside, we see all the neighbors we know.”
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Two images above: Click either one to see spread in its entirety


“Everybody can get too busy sometimes.”
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“But these words work even in the busiest times. …”
(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)


A Sneak Peek at Ruth’s Next Book …


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THANK YOU, NEIGHBOR! Copyright © 2021 by Ruth Chan. Published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

All images reproduced by permission of Ruth Chan.

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