Monday, May 10, 2010

I'll Show You Mine if You'll Show Me Yours

Here's the deal. Let us see what you, gentle readers, like on a book jacket.

Your assignment: Sometime in the next two weeks, enter a bookstore. Head toward the children's section (you know you'll do this anyway) and maybe veer off into the teen section, too. Find a book (or two) whose cover you just love, LOVE, LURVE and then rush home to your computer or whip out your portable emailing device and tell us about it.

Send title, author (and maybe a jpg if you're so inclined) and your first name/last initial to me at carol (at) carolbrendler (dot) com. Maybe include a word or two explaining why you chose what you did. There's one rule: It can't be a book you wrote or illustrated yourself.

Alternatively, you can enter your selections in the comments below and I'll post the images and explanations when I post the others over the next 2 weeks.

To start things off, here are a couple from me:

Hot Diggity Dog: The History of the Hot Dog
by Adrienne Silver, illustrated by Elwood Smith, due out from Dutton this month. Oh, gosh. I love how the hot dog itself is a photo. It's just so kitschy and diner-ish. The book's description says this book is "Garnished with hilarious illustrations." Ha ha ha ha ha, get it? As long as we don't have to see any wieners being made, I think this will be a fun one.

Here's a sassy chicklit-looking cover . . . until you read the sticky on the pail. Then the pink and green turn from sassy to sickly. This is the paperback cover for Side Effects by Amy Goldman Koss and it so intrigued me because it tells me this character is going to be battling her illness with a dose of humor. The hardcover version didn't do that. Sounds like a tricky balancing act for the author. The small print under the author's name lists actual side effects of cancer and its treatment.

I showed you mine. Now you.

Oh, gosh. What if nobody participates? Please join in or I'll feel so . . . so exposed.


  1. Hey, Carol and Julie,
    I have to say I'm old-fashioned, and your header (which is on my cell phone!) reminds me that I'd have to split my vote between MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS and BLUEBERRIES FOR SAL. The covers are ingrained in my memory with love...

  2. Thanks, Care! You're right about those two. I'll add them to my list.

  3. And a picture is worth a thousand words, 瑋玲 !!

  4. Hi there, I'm a new reader. I love cover art, especially for children's books, so I was happy to find you! This sounds like fun - how do you feel about book covers in languages other than English?

  5. Covers not in English - yes, yes, please! Cover design is a wonderfully translatable visual art. Feel free to post your favorites from around the globe.

  6. Hi!

    I got the impression that you’re mainly interested in recently published books, but here are three of my favorite oldies. SWIMMY by Leo Lionni, THE GRANNYMAN by Judith Schachner, and THE ALWAYS PRAYER SHAWL by Sheldon Oberman and illustrated by Ted Lewin. Each of these is a picture book with a large illustration on the cover and with the title printed in a font that nicely reflects the tone of the book. SWIMMY is a quiet story of adventure and cooperation that takes place in the depths of the ocean. The cover depicts a small black fish, swimming a bit ahead of small red fish, an invitation to open the book. THE GRANNYMAN is a whimsical, sweet story of an ancient cat whose death is postponed when a new kitten arrives. On the cover, the expression on the cat’s face is priceless! THE ALWAYS PRAYER SHAWL is a serious, family story with lovely watercolor illustrations that are black and white, changing to full color to express the passage of time. The cover art shows the boy in color against a black background – quite striking!

  7. Hey, Sheila--I guess I was thinking of newly published books, but I'm loving hearing about your faves, whether new or "vintage." Keep those cards and letters coming!

  8. THE WATER SEEKER by Kimberly Willis Holt. The black silhouetted picture of a child holding a tree branch, dowsing for water against the speckled yellow (sunrise? sunset?) sky, the silhouetted grasses, trees, birds--already sets the tone and tells me this is my kind of book. I haven't read it yet, but I'm prepared to love it. I especially love the back flap of the jacket--the birds in the trees.

  9. Two brand new covers I LOOOOOOVE- Countdown by Deborah Wiles- the yellow background is so eye catching and the grooves on that big black record are fantastic. And Keeper by Kathi Appelt- photos on the internet don't do this one justice. The cool blue of the ocean pulled me in but it was that red boat and gorgeous greenish mermaid- glazed in shiny stuff that absolutely makes this cover POP!
    Best thing of all is what's inside both these books. They're as wonderful as their covers.

  10. I completely agree, Tami - these two books are knock-outs, front to back and everything in between.

  11. I think the cover to ELSEWHERE by Gabrielle Zevin is FAB.
    My fave by far

  12. I've loved looking at other's favorites! I'm actually almost ashamed of my favorite as it's the movie tie-in trade paperback for Anne of Green Gables. It's not the most artistic, but I'd be lying if I didn't pick it as my favorite! My battered copy is a testament and I recall just staring at the cover through out my multiple reads over the years. I think the mini-series was an excellent adaptation and attracted a whole new generation of readers to the work of LM Montgomery!

    After this I'd have to say that anything by Trina Schart Hyman would be next - her version of Little Red Riding Hood is the best!

  13. Readers, be sure to click on the link inoursmallgarden has posted to see her picks from Israel. Irresistible!