Books & Writing

Who Will U Be?

Explore the world of letters and learn who U are meant to be.

Follow an inquisitive little letter “u” as she goes on a class field trip to find out all the ways letters are seen and used in the world. With clever storytelling and vibrant, powerful illustrations, bestselling author Jessica Hische has created an enchanting picture book that is not only an accessible introduction to typography for kids, but also a wonderful reminder to embrace one’s individuality and curiosity as they grow older.

Praise for Who Will U Be?

  • U said it! The diminutive lowercase letters attending Ms. Bracket’s School for Little Letters, located in New York City, embark on a “Find Yourself Field Trip” and observe letters everywhere—on signs, on T-shirts, and more. When personable U, the story’s protagonist, talks to a letter in a book at the New York Public Library, she realizes how powerful and important letters and words are; a discussion with a letter on a sculpture spelling out the word hope inspires optimism. When it’s her turn to share her field-trip experiences, U recaps her conversations and the lessons learned, namely, be yourself, or, in U’s case, be U [...] Children may be spurred to take part in their own creative lettering activities—collages for example. Somewhat cerebral but brimming with visual charm—and likely to spark ideas in the artistically minded.

    Kirkus Reviews
  • It will be easy for children to connect the quest of the letters to their own plans when they get big. The warm palette of colors invites readers in for a closer look at the densely packed illustrations. [...] It may look like an alphabet book, but it’s about finding one’s purpose. VERDICT This book straddles a line between a story for upper and lower elementary readers. A good choice for libraries needing fiction picture books about starting to consider one’s place in the world.

    School Library Journal

It’s the annual “Find Yourself Field Trip” at Ms. Bracket’s School of Little Letters, and “u” couldn’t be more excited. She can’t wait to see all the ways letters are used in the world — they’re on everything from books to boats, from sidewalks to spaceships! And it’s starting to make her wonder one important question: Who will she be when she grows up? Set in New York City, this book is a love letter to my former home as well as a beautiful introduction to the world of fanciful letters. The story originates in Alphabet City (of course it does!) where the little letters attend school. The class embarks on a full day of exploration, meeting letters “on the job” and learning about all sorts of different places they may choose to end up when they’re older. Each “grown up” letter shares their passion and motivation for what they do, showing the little letters that who you become when you grow up is informed by who you are now and what makes you happiest. Ultimately, u learns that she has her whole life to figure out who she is meant to be, and that all she really has to be is herself.

While touring for my first two kid’s books, I loved showing children how fancy letters are all around us and that there are countless ways to draw the same set of letters. So aside from conveying an important lesson about staying in touch with what drives us as individuals to find happiness and fullfillment in life, I wanted the book to encourage kids to look at the world around them to see beautiful letters everywhere. You will love exploring your city and looking for everyday examples of beautiful letters “at work” on signage, in books, on graphic tees, and everything in between.

Brave, Kind, and Grateful

Put bravery, kindness, and creativity into action in this gorgeous gratitude journal.

Following up Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave and Tomorrow I’ll Be Kind, New York Times best-selling author Jessica Hische returns with a gratitude journal that asks us to acknowledge our own daily acts of bravery, creativity, and kindness. Complete with thoughtful prompts and exercises, gorgeous illustrations, and intimate essays throughout, Brave, Kind, and Grateful is a tender invitation to explore the many meanings that gratitude can hold.

Gratitude journaling is a wonderful and accessible form of journaling. This "all ages" journal can be used by most—from school-aged children to adults. While it derives inspiration from the world of Jessica’s picture books, the messages of the essays and the journaling practices within are universal and applicable at any age.

Praise for Tomorrow I’ll be Brave

  • Jessica Hische, one of the great designers and typographers, now shows herself equally adept at creating gorgeous and immersive images for young readers. This is a joyous burst of color.

    Dave Eggers, Author of Her Right Foot

Praise for Tomorrow I’ll be Kind

  • As an introduction to personality characteristics, beneficial behaviors, and social-emotional skills, this is a solid choice, and fans of the previous volume are likely to embrace this one as well. ‘I’ll dream of all the good that comes / when we all just do our best,’ the text explains–a sentiment that’s hard to rebut. Gently encourages empathy, compassion, and consideration.

    Kirkus Reviews

When I first began speaking publicly about my books Tomorrow I'll be Brave and Tomorrow I'll be Kind, one of the things I heard over and over were how universal and applicable the messages were. The first time I actually read Tomorrow I'll be Brave out loud was to a group of college students and several made comments that the book really resonated with them. I always thought of Brave and Kind as a set, not a trilogy, but I kept thinking of ways to bring the art, color palette, and tone to a new format and ultimately to a broader audience. I loved the idea of a beautiful keepsake journal, one that wasn't just a book of blank pages—it would be personal and intimate and make the process of journaling fun and accessible.

I should mention that I'm a terrible journaler. I have started and abandoned so many journals over the years, mostly because I had outsized expectations of what journaling is or needs to be. I felt like a journal should be an enormously detailed accounting of your life—documenting everything that happens with thoughtful commentary, perfect penmanship, and beautiful little sketches of found objects, landscapes, and locations. It's no wonder that journals I started never made it past a few entries. But then I discovered gratitude journaling and my perspective on journaling changed forever. The practice of gratitude journaling has brought so much joy to my life and allows me to focus on what matters most, especially during tougher times. I hope it brings as much to your life as it's brought to mine!

Tomorrow I’ll Be Kind

Dream of a world full of kindness

In a follow up to New York Times Bestseller Tomorrow I’ll be Brave, award- winning author and illustrator Jessica Hische takes young readers on a new, extraordinary journey that encourages them to be helpful, patient, gentle, honest, generous, grateful, and above all, kind. Each small act of kindness, even those by the smallest people, helps make the world a better place.

Awards and Accolades

  • New York Times Best-seller

Praise for Tomorrow I’ll be Kind

  • As an introduction to personality characteristics, beneficial behaviors, and social-emotional skills, this is a solid choice, and fans of the previous volume are likely to embrace this one as well. ‘I’ll dream of all the good that comes / when we all just do our best,’ the text explains–a sentiment that’s hard to rebut. Gently encourages empathy, compassion, and consideration.

    Kirkus Reviews
  • A friendly, undemanding and positive read, ideal for the end of the nighttime routine.

    The Wall Street Journal

When I had initially started brainstorming about Tomorrow I’ll be Brave, I made a huge list of aspirational words. There were so many good ones that I had a hard time narrowing it down. I also saw two distinct kinds of positive attributes emerge: attributes that mostly impact you—elevate you, fortify you, and help you have courage to take on anything...and attributes that encourage you to help those around you and ultimately make the world a better place. When I talked to Penguin about Brave, I talked to them about both books. That they were two sides to the same coin. First you have to take care of and encourage yourself, and then you can do your part to help others. Brave has a light effervescent energy and Tomorrow I’ll be Kind is a low burning flame.

This book also has a deeper meaning for me. As a person who was raised in the Catholic Church but now considers herself agnostic / on a path to her next spiritual calling, I wanted to address these universal morality teachings from a secular standpoint. I wanted to figure out how to drive home the concept that doing good can come from a light lit within, not because of fear of punishment from an external source. I believe religion can be a wonderful and beautiful thing for people, but I also believe that you can be a good person and have a well developed sense of morality without it. Ultimately I'd love for people of every belief and background to feel this book resonates with them. We all can be helpful, patient, gentle, honest, generous, grateful, and kind to each other, and when we try—even a little bit—it makes a huge difference.

Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave

A beautiful and encouraging bedtime book

Lyrically written and beautifully illustrated by award-winning lettering artist Jessica Hische, this book takes readers on a fantastic journey that encourages them to be adventurous, strong, smart, curious, creative, confident, and brave—reassuring them that if they haven’t been able to be all or any of those things today, there is always tomorrow, which is full of endless opportunities.

Awards and Accolades

  • New York Times Best-seller
  • Official Selection: Dolly Parton Imagination Library
  • Jessica Hische, one of the great designers and typographers, now shows herself equally adept at creating gorgeous and immersive images for young readers. This is a joyous burst of color.

    Dave Eggers, Author of Her Right Foot
  • I'm an entrepreneur today because my dad told me I could be anything I wanted when I was just eight years old. I can’t wait to read this book to my own children and buy it for every other parent I know. May it inspire the next generation!

    Brit Morin, founder & CEO, Brit & Co.

When my daughter was born, we started reading to her almost immediately. I was delighted when she learned how to turn the pages herself—she was 7 months old and it felt like suddenly I could see into a future when she was a child not a baby. As working parents, bedtime became a sacred time, a time when we were all hers and she was all ours. Some nights we’d read a dozen books: everything from the classics we were raised on (some were the actual physical copies we grew up with, handed down by our parents) to the new beautiful books coming out by contemporary authors and illustrators.

Our library grew and I started to notice themes emerging, especially when it came to bedtime books. There was the “Goodnight Objects” genre, all clearly based on the structure and popularity of Goodnight Moon. There was the “Bedtime Routine Reinforcement” genre, in which the child is walked through the nightly routine of prepping for bed (usually by a beloved television character). And then there is the “Parent Ugly Cry” genre: beautiful poetic books about growing up and growing old that turn the parent-reader into a puddle of emotions. What I didn’t see were a lot of bedtime books about reflecting on your day and setting intentions for the next.

I had the idea for this book when Ramona was a little over a year old. I wanted to write something uplifting, encouraging, and empowering—a book to help end the day excited for all the possibilities that tomorrow could bring. There are plenty of inspirational books out there for young readers, but this would be different. It wouldn't just encourage kids to be the best they can be—it would give them the opportunity to reflect on their day and even introduce the very grown-up concept of self-forgiveness. I worked on it for about a year before approaching a publisher, and in that time it matured alongside my tiny muse. I’m incredibly proud of how it turned out, and I’m so happy to have partnered with Penguin Workshop to bring it into the world.

In Progress

A perfect gateway drug to the world
of lettering and type

  • Jessica has done so much great work she could have simply published a monograph. Instead, she shows you how to do great work too. That says everything about who Jessica is — and what kind of book this is.

    Stephen Coles, Author & Founder of Typographica
  • Is there any greater thrill than a peek behind the curtain to see how a great magician’s tricks are really done? Jessica Hische provides that peek, and anyone who cares about drawing, lettering, or—dare I say—the power of the written word will be absolutely enthralled with what she reveals.

    Michael Bierut, Designer, Author, Educator & Partner at Pentagram
  • Jessica took the world by storm and her first book, In Progress, shows you how and why. Whether it is her whimsical and witty personal projects, her riveting magazine and book covers, her entertaining editorial work, her magical movie titles, or even her first draft pencil sketches, In Progress brilliantly reveals exactly what it takes to make meaningful work that moves people and that matters.

    Debbie Millman, Designer, Author & Host of Design Matters
  • Unlike most focused type and lettering books, Jessica covers a very broad range of topics in very approachable terms. From formal models of letter construction and serif structure all the way through software suggestions, vector drafting, and decorative shading. It functions as a perfect gateway drug to the world of lettering and type, building a solid foundation by addressing the biggest real-world issues. Plus, it’s just damn nice to look at.

    Nick Sherman, Type and Pizza Enthusiast / Consultant