10 Jul '20

Stories Behind the Stories with Christina Rodriguez, illustrator of The Wishing Tree

Artist Christina Rodriguez introduces Yelena Burns-Nazaroff, a lifelong friend who was the inspiration for Christina’s paintings of Amanda, the main character in The Wishing Tree by Mary Redman.

In this Stories Behind the Stories video, Christina and Yelena talk about some of their shared experiences, memories, and feelings as military kids.

Christina also shares some of her early sketches that were based on photos of Yelena’s family, and why it was important to her to honor Yelena’s deployment experience. Yelena shares a special memory of a family ritual during her dad’s deployments and what it means to her to be painted into a book.

Did you know: Military kid Yelena grew up to become a captain in the US Air Force, and she married a Marine so she is also a military spouse!

Christina has illustrated many other books as well, including My Dad's Deployment, My Mom's Deployment, and Coloring My Military Life—Book 1.