- Associated Press - Friday, December 20, 2019

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) - This year’s White House Christmas book is illustrated by an artist in suburban Detroit.

The White House called Jennifer Baghdoian to ask if she would illustrate the book after first lady Melania Trump looked at many portfolios and liked her work, the Detroit Free Press reported. The annual picture book is given away to visitors each December.

The White House found Baghdoian through her online business.

“I was shocked because I’m so new to this,” she said. “I thought they’d choose a seasoned book illustrator. I mean, I’m just beginning.”

Officials invited Baghdoian to visit, all expenses paid. She began to envision the book after a private tour and a thorough understanding of the White House plans for holiday decor.

She based her illustrations on shots of the furniture, architecture, ornaments and even what was baking in the White House kitchen.

This book will feature Baghdoian’s illustration of an apple pie, shown beside the official White House recipe.

Baghdoian said she hopes she and her husband, Daniel, can get a copy after the holiday rush passes.

“My husband grew up with Christmas and I grew up with Hanukkah. So far, people have been very understanding,” Baghdoian said. “They think it’s wonderful. People who’ve bought paintings throughout the year are getting in touch. They’re saying, ‘You go girl.’ “

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