Exactly a year ago, I was asked to write and illustrate my very own children’s book exclusively for Bloomingdales Dubai.
It was such an honor to be included and a really huuuge project for me! I was simply bursting with ideas! I wanted the book to be charming and colorful and it was very important for it to have a whimsical element even though it’s a promotional book.
It’s a lighthearted novel that follows the protagonist Sophie, a little girl who accompanies her mum on a shopping trip into the iconic department store.
Feeling dismayed and bored, Sophie falls into deep slumber while her mum shops away. Her imagination brings to life a mannequin who takes her on an exciting fashion-filled quest to the Womenswear and Beauty Departments where Sophie gets dolled up, and tries on a selection of lovely dresses and make-up – essentially every girls dream!
I love the rhyming prose of Dr Suess books, so I wanted the story to read in a similar flow – just like poetry. This bit was a little challenging to find the right words!
I was born in the 80′s so I always loved fantasy retro movies like BIG and Splash. I really liked the movie Mannequin and how Kim Cattrall’s character kept switching into real life and back to her original form, so I was inspired from that concept. This is where I got the idea from – I really liked the idea of a magical mannequin coming to life and becoming a tour guide.
Of course, I couldn’t write a book about Bloomingdales Dubai and NOT include the famous Magnolia Bakery cupcakes. I took a few reference photos of the bakery in Dubai Mall and made sure the illustration aptly represented the quintessential all-American charm and wonder that is Magnolia Bakery.
The books were given as special gifts from the Dubai Mall branch specifically for the Islamic holiday, Eid Al-Adha. Customers who purchased merchandise in the Kidswear Department between this holiday season received copies of the book with compliments from the Dubai Mall branch.
An animated preview of the book was also available on the Bloomingdales Dubai website.