As a creative, there's nothing more exciting than helping to bring a dream project to life. That's exactly what happened during the pandemic when my favorite creative collaborator Joline approached me with the idea to bring her children's book to life.
Introducing Miso Eats Noodles, a bold and visually immersive children's book about a lovable cat named Miso who takes readers on a culinary journey around the world, exploring the diversity and unique flavors of various noodle dishes.
Inspired by Joline's own Siamese cat, Miso is brought to life with a charming character design and hand-painted noodle-y lines that serve as a delightful reminder of the book's theme. He has a cute round face, big blue eyes, heart-shaped nose, and paws and whiskers styled to look like yarn, another element to add warmth to Miso's 3D world.
The cover of book was inspired by the joyous moment of slurping ramen, with noodles forming the lettering of the title and food choregraphed in motion all around it.
The color palette creates a gentle display of empathy mixing pastels with vibrant reds that echo across the book's spread. To complement this energy, hand painted gouache textures are mapped onto 3D geometry— softening the overall visual language of dimensional design while adding warmth. The result is an aesthetic that has a modern yet familiar style.
To capture the essence of each dish and culture, we immersed ourselves into research, chatting with friends from different communities and exploring cultural websites and blogs. For the ramen spread, we traveled to a vintage Japanese art fair to capture authentic calligraphy books and show posters, which we used to add textural elements mapped into Miso’s 3D world. To savor the concept further, we ordered delivery from authentic restaurants in the Seattle area to support family–owned businesses.
Joline's Taiwanese heritage was brought to life with personal touches added to Niu Rou Men, such as a small floral decoration on the interior of the spoon (a fond memory from her past), to her love of pineapple cake from Sunny Hills, to her love of boba milk team from Chun Shui, and finally to her love of delicious xiao long bao!