Monday, November 2, 2009

Tapjacketing #3

Plenty to share today! Get a hot cup of cocoa (if the weather is anything like it is in Seattle today!) and spend a bit of time with the links below. Just click on the work "Link" to be transported. (And if you don't have time for all the links, at least go to the question at the very end!)

1. Link: Check out designer and illustrator (and author) Nikalas Catlow's quirky UK blog, the apple and the egg, which is "all about children's book design and illustration." Don't miss my favorite feature, the sidebar link to the category called "Motivation Monday" - great jpeg's of various artists' sketchbooks. Catlow oversees the design of the young fiction list at Random House Children's Books in the UK. Here is a page from the sketchbook of children's book illustrator Adam Stower - love it!

And below is a page from the wonderful Polly Dunbar's sketchbook:

Dunbar's quick line reminds me a little of the illustrator Quentin Blake's work. Her covers for the Tilly and Friends books are charming, and her cover for David Almond's novel, My Dad is a Birdman, has that same Blake-like light-as-air line::

2. Link: Here's an interesting interview of David Caplan, the art director at HarperCollins Children's Books - Though he says the following simply for informational purposes, I found it a bit chilling, "Publishers in the U.S. have learned that it’s vitally important to appeal to the needs of our biggest booksellers, as they are often the greatest source of revenue. If a bookseller says a particular cover design will make the difference between a book selling ten- and fifty-thousand copies, the publisher will obviously try to accommodate their suggestions." In other words, Amazon or Barnes and Noble could tell a publisher what to put on the cover of a book. That is NOT a pleasant development, if you ask me.

3. Link: Anna Alter at Blue Rose Girls posted the sketches for possible front/back cover of her new book Disappearing Desmond and got feedback about favorites from blog readers. An interesting experiment. The final front cover is a wonderful choice - those two ears, those two eyes!!

4. Link: Adam Rex describes the long process of coming up with a book cover for Guess Again, written by Max Barnett. Looks like about 32 different possibilities???

5. Link: Okay, here is a web-page you can fall into for a whole day - you know the kind - you open it up, it takes you to page after page of fascinating stuff, then you notice a link on the sidebar, you follow it, it takes you to page after page of fascinating stuff, you notice a link on the sidebar of THAT page....etc. Well, it's the Library of Congress, so that's as it should be. This particular link will take you to the site - check out the gorgeous classic book covers. Here are two of my favorites:

6. Link: Five Toronto-based book designers talk about "The Jacket Racket." I love what Bill Douglas says about designing covers for the "big fiction" books, especially compared to the crossover adult/YA book, A Complicated Kindness. “Does that one look like a big book? Did that have big, giant text on it?” It had a little axe and a chicken. It didn’t look like a big book and that thing sold."

7. Link: Stevie Wonder sings You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover. Sweet!

8. Link: If Stevie Wonder isn't enough for you, Bo Diddley sings a completely different song titled (guess what?) You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover. Even sweeter!

9. Link: It's NOVEMBER! And the moon was SO beautiful this weekend, wasn't it? I wanted to howl.... In fact, I think I did howl, just a bit. But I also wanted to get in the car, drive down the interstate, gather my grandson up into my arms, and go out for a night walk - just so we could look at the moon together. Thinking about that put me in mind of Grace Lin's new book, which is getting such wonderful reviews. Clink on Link #9 and it takes you to a video about the book, which - though not a picture book - is illustrated in full color. I would have loved to stare and stare at this cover when I was a kid, imagining myself right on the back of that dragon:

And thinking about Grace Lin's book put me in mind (because my mind works like a game of "Tag, you're it!") of a book cover I saw while researching the illustrator Polly Dunbar (see above under artist's sketchbooks.)

I think The Boy Who Climbed Into the Moon is not going to be out until 2010 and will be issued first in the UK (though it's to be published by Candlewick so it might come out simultaneously here...?)
Here's what will be happening with the moon this month, which has nothing to do with book covers. Actually, if you had this chart and folded it down the middle, it would wrap around a book and make a perfect book cover, wouldn't it?

And it's not too far a stretch to get from this chart to Brian Floca's Moonshot, which seems to be mentioned a lot for the Caldecott Medal this year (and even more, of course, for the Sibert Medal.) The way the space capsule seems to hover silently in space, with the moon waiting in the distance, makes for a beautiful cover (which interestingly moves from the more familiar blue of many "moon" covers, to an overwhelming black):

10. Link A and Link B: The Mock Caldecott discussions are beginning in earnest now - Allen County Public Library in Indiana has one of the best online discussions in the country (they issue four shortlists with links to discussions about them from July to January before the ALA announcement of the winner.) Mock Caldecotts across the country just try to anticipate which books might be nominated, or which might win, and ACPL is about to announce its Shortlist #3 very soon. Until they do, you can check out List 1 and List 2 with these links.

Here is a challenge for everyone who follows JACKET KNACK. See if you can judge a book by its cover. Tell us, BASED ON THE COVER ALONE, which book do you think will win the Caldecott this year?

1 comment:

  1. I'm totally in love with "Tsunami!" by Kimiko Kajikawa, with illustrations by Ed Young -- the cover's great, and the illustrations inside are even more awesome! I'm really hoping it gets the Caldecott. You can see the cover here: