After doing a full-scale back-to-school issue three weeks prior, my challenge was to come up with another way to tell the back-to-school story. The cover story offered advice for how parents can navigate the school year, since it’s not just kids who are going back to school. To visually differentiate the package from the previous coverage, I decided to tackle the cover with humor. I chose St. Louis illustrator Rachel Harris to illustrate a scene of nervous parents in an elementary classroom. She handled people really well in her portfolio, and I knew I could count on her to depict a diverse group of parents with personality and humor. It was a great collaboration all around (illustrator, editors and me), and with each revision we found ways to tell the story with more humor. (I love the captions for the spot illustrations inside.) The end result was a light and inviting group of illustrations for an otherwise dry but informative list of tips for parents.