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River Rose and the Magical Lullaby, Illustrated by Laura Hughes [Behind the Book]

last updated 12 October 2016

River Rose and the Magical Lullaby, illustrated by Bright artist Laura Hughes and written by Grammy Award-winning American singer Kelly Clarkson, published with HarperCollins on October 4, 2016! We’re thrilled to share the buzz around the publication, and excited to congratulate Laura on being a part of a project that parents and children will love!



River Rose and the Magical Lullaby tells the delightful story of a little girl who is too excited about her upcoming trip to the zoo to fall asleep. Laura’s whimsical and colorful illustrations transport young readers into River Rose’s adventures with lions, pandas, polar bears, and of course, her trusty dog Joplin. The book was inspired by Kelly’s real-life daughter, River Rose. Read on for the best and Brightest press the book has received thus far:

From author Bright illustrator Laura Hughes on working on the book:

“I always enjoy illustrating books with a wealth of animal characters so Kelly’s story instantly appealed. River Rose is an adorable but adventurous spirit – based on Clarkson’s own daughter, so keeping a lot of looseness and energy in the artwork was key for me. The illustrative process was pretty much the same as with any other book and involved working closely with the designer at HarperCollins to produce roughs based on their text layouts, before moving onto final artwork.”

From author Kelly Clarkson on her daughter’s reaction to the book:

“She’s still a little young to really know that it’s about her. But we read it together and she likes to look at the carousel. She loves carousels, and animals – more than people; she is definitely her mother’s daughter. She always stops at the page with the whole zoo party. Laura Hughes did such an amazing job with the illustrations. I think a lot of little kids are like River, too. I ask her “Where’s the monkey?” and we look for all kinds of things on the pages when we read it.” [Publisher’s Weekly: Q & A with Kelly Clarkson]

From the charts:

The book debuted at number one on Amazon’s Stories in Verse and Children’s Parents Books lists!


Get to know the illustrator:


Laura Hughes is a children’s illustrator and a lover of pink wafers. She was born in Bath, United Kingdom, but now lives in London with her cat, Lulu. Laura nearly became a forensic scientist but simply couldn’t bear to put down her pencils. For more of Laura’s work, see her Bright portfolio here, or follow her on Twitter.

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