RHCB to Publish Award-Winning HAMILTON Star Phillipa Soo's Debut Picture Book


Broadway star Phillipa Soo, photo © JJ Geiger.

Random House Studio, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, will publish PIPER CHEN SINGS by Phillipa Soo and Maris Pasquale Doran, illustrated by acclaimed artist Qin Leng, it was announced today by Lee Wade, VP & Publisher of Random House Studio and the book’s editor. The book is scheduled to publish on April 2, 2024!  

Soo, is beloved for originating the role of Eliza in the award-winning Broadway production of Hamilton and PIPER CHEN SINGS is her authorial debut in collaboration with her sister-in-law Maris Pasquale PIPER CHEN SINGS beautifully captures the feelings surrounding how we explore and pursue something that make us nervous.  

Says Phillipa Soo: “I have often been asked, ‘If you could say anything to your younger self, what would it be?’ Piper Chen Sings is certainly an answer to that question. This book comes straight from the heart and is inspired by my own life and experiences—a little girl who loves to sing, but is overwhelmed with nervousness about singing in front of others. Piper Chen Sings is our first book, and Maris and I are so proud to share this heartwarming story with the world. I hope Piper gives comfort to readers who may be navigating their own complicated feelings and inspires them to pursue the things in life that give them joy.”  

Says Wade about the project: “Phillipa Soo is one of those people who can easily access her childhood feelings, so she and Maris Pasquale Doran were able to draw on those feelings to create a character who feels real and a story that is relatable. The picture book is filled with emotions from nervousness to excitement to joy, and Qin Leng is excellent at adding emotion to her gorgeous pictures.”  

“I have always loved the expression ‘butterflies in my stomach’ and the visuals that the words conjure up,” says acclaimed illustrator Qin Leng. “This book was such a wonderful and exciting opportunity for me to explore the ways to represent these fluttery insects. I used pastel and colored pencils to render these winged creatures so that they would contrast with the watercolor and ink lines of the rest of the book. I wanted to bring whimsy and magic to the butterflies so that the cause of Piper Chen’s nervousness would become something enchanting that would accompany her through her journey of overcoming her stage fright.”

About Phillipa Soo
Phillipa Soo is an actor and singer, best known for originating the role of Eliza in Broadway’s critically acclaimed Hamilton, which earned her a Grammy win and Tony and Emmy nominations. She has also starred as Cinderella in Into the Woods, for which she won another Grammy; as Guenevere in Aaron Sorkin’s Broadway revival of Camelot; and in many other plays, musicals, television shows, and films. When Phillipa was younger, she was just like Piper—she sang everywhere to everything. This story is inspired by her own journey dealing with her stage fright as a young child. She resides in Brooklyn with her husband and fellow actor Steven Pasquale.  

Maris Pasquale Doran ©Emily Feinsod

About Maris Pasquale Doran, LCSW

Maris Pasquale Doran has always loved listening to and learning from people’s personal narratives and has evolved her career in social work to include writing and creating her own characters and stories. Piper Chen Singsis her first publication. She continues to work as a private psychotherapist and is an adjunct lecturer at Columbia University’s School of Social Work. She lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, with her husband and two young children. Reading to them is always her favorite part of the day.  

Qin Leng ©Lian Leng

About Qin Leng
Qin Leng is a visual development artist as well as an illustrator and author of children’s books. Recent books include A Day for Sandcastles, written by JonArno Lawson, Clover, which won the prestigious Governor General Literary Award, written by Nadine Robert, and her author-illustrator debut I Am Small. She lives in Toronto with her husband and her son. 

Posted: August 2, 2023