Cover Reveal: A RIVER OF DUST

Hurray!!!! Cover Reveals are so much fun…kind of like when an artist designs a sculpture and it is covered with a cloth until the audience gathers and then…

TA-DA! The cloth is lifted and a masterpiece is revealed. And the audience oohs and aahs with delight and admiration.

Written by Jilanne Hoffman – Illustrated by Eugenia Mello – Published by Chronicle – Launching July 2023

Here’s a little bit about the book:

“I am dust,
the dust of North Africa.
I connect continents.”

The dust of the Sahel—a ribbon of land between the Sahara and the savannah—lifts with the harmattan winds each winter season. It mixes with dust from the Sahara and travels thousands of miles westward, across the African continent and the Atlantic Ocean, to reunite with an unforgotten destination deep in the Amazon basin.

Told from the perspective of dust, A River of Dust takes readers on a journey through vibrantly illustrated landscapes, celebrating the power and wonder of Earth’s ecosystems, and showing how these tiny particles are in fact key to the health of our planet. It is a lyrical love letter from one continent to another, continents that have been separated for millions of years, but remain connected via dust, and will be physically connected once again millions of years in the future.

Six pages of back matter include a description of how scientists use NASA satellite data to estimate the quantity that makes the journey, how the nutrients carried by dust feed the Amazon and the South Atlantic Ocean, how dust alters hurricane formation, how geologists figured out that the continents were once a supercontinent, and more! A teacher’s guide will also be available with extension activities that span the curriculum, not just STEM. 

And here’s a little bit about the author:
Jilanne Hoffmann has been a zoo train engineer, a waitress, an engineer for IBM, a fitness trainer, a tai chi instructor, a freelance writer for nonprofit organizations, and now enjoys writing stories for kids and adults. She has a BS in Industrial Engineering and an MFA in Creative Writing, is a San Francisco Coordinator for the SCBWI South Bay region, and has attended Highlights Summer Camp with all the cool children’s authors. Jilanne is also a co-producer of Kidquake, the elementary school program of Litquake, San Francisco’s premier literary festival. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, son, and dog named Wrigley.

Jilanne and I have been kid lit friends for many years…and I am so very proud of her and this beautiful book that she and illustrator Eugenia Mello and Chronicle Books created.

If you want to help books like RIVER OF DUST succeed:
you can PRE-ORDER
you can put the title on your ‘to-read’ shelf at Goodreads
you can review it on Amazon once it launches,
you can tell friends about it
and you can ask your local library to purchase copies.
I hope you do at least one of those for this book!

And I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

79 thoughts on “Cover Reveal: A RIVER OF DUST

  1. Congratulations, Jilanne and Eugenia! The cover is stunning! I can’t wait to hold this beautiful book in my hands and savor every word and illustration!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, my friend! Eugenia’s work just leaves me staring at the pages, taking it all in. Can’t wait to share the insides!!!! I think doing that is going to turn my insides all gushy. Sob…but it’s a good kind of crying, right?


  2. I’m so excited to see this beautiful cover and the description of what the book is about! As a science teacher, I’m passionate about this topic and can’t wait to share it with my students. Congratulations, Jilanne! Your illustrator is super talented.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Shaunda!!! I agree! Eugenia is AMAZING! I can’t wait to share the educator’s guide with you. We’re actually turning it into three sections: Language Arts, STEM, and Social Sciences. Yay!


  3. Congratulations Jilanne and Eugenia. Every detail on the cover is so interesting. The color of the dust in the title, the brightness of the birds and the plants. The idea of developing such a complex process and allowing us to see it from the perspective of the dust, has at the same time strength and sensitivity. I remember when I was a child living in Israel, seeing and feeling the dust. Teachers will be so grateful for the back matter and the STEM activities. Many future scientists will feel the itch after reading the book.
    I wish both of you to be always surrounded by celebration.
    Once again, thank you Vivian for keeping us endlessly informed and our minds inquisitive.
    Certainly I will ask the library in Katy, Tx to purchase the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Eva, for your thoughtful comments! I think dust connects us all in so many ways. In my case, I recall the dust on the farm where I grew up. I padded barefoot through dust as fine as flour on hot summer days. As I mention in the author’s note to the book, I first heard about dust making this cross-Atlantic journey when I was a kid, and wondered how it could fly that far. I didn’t know then that I would write about it as an adult It took me four years of trial and error before I came up with a narrative perspective that worked. And Eugenia took such great care with the art. I feel very lucky that she agreed to illustrate. Thank you so much for requesting A RIVER OF DUST at your library. I hope that many kids, educators, and parents get to check it out! in the end, I want kids to be inspired to discover more about our world and to find ways to make it a better place in which to live. They are the thinkers, dreamers, and problem-solvers of the future!


    • Thank you so much, Deb! I find this topic fascinating enough to spend years with it, LOL. I think the big picture of connection is what pulls it all together for me. And yes, Eugenia’s art just thrills me! It’s nice to know we’re neighbors! Thank you for stopping by!


    • Thank you so much, Marty! Eugenia does such beautiful work, and I feel so fortunate she said yes! I continue to be fascinated by the many subjects that this book touches on, which is one of the reasons it’s going to have an educator’s guide. Yay! Thank you again!


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