Monday, November 8, 2010

Remembering With Covers

November 11th is a day for remembering. Books have always been a vehicle for discussion and book covers can reflect how a story will approach the challenging topic of war and war's impact upon people.

For a younger audience, the images of soldiers are present, but the poppies stand out as symbols of remembrance.

Heather Patterson
illustrated by Ron Lightburn
Scholastic Canada (2007)

Benoit's illustrations suggest that the veteran's parade will be seen through a child's eyes and echoes the soft, gentle focus of the story.

by Jane Barclay, illus. by Renne Benoit
Tundra Books (2009)

Janet Wilson creates a collage of symbols reflecting war, death, and peace. This suggests suitability for slightly older children.

Linda Granfield, illus. by Janet Wilson
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2005 edition)

The covers of these two novels offer faces of children directly affected by war. They both create an entry way into the topic for a reader of similar age to these characters. (Lily's Crossing is published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 1997 and Age 14 is published by Collins Collins Press, 2010).

There is minimal detail and colour on the new cover for this classic war story written in 1930, which increases the impact of the image. The cover also reveals that the content will be challenging and directed toward a young adult/adult reader.

Charles Yale Harrison
(Annick Press, 2007 edition)

Though intended for different age groups, all of these covers offer important images to remember.


  1. I would love to follow you on twitter, your blog is so perfect for it! I love book covers and it would be great to see all the new fabulous stuff show up in my twitter stream. Do you guys have an account? Please let me know if you ever sign up

  2. Hey P&H, we're working on a Twitter presence right now! Deirdre, there's something about these covers--somehow they all manage to convey a combination of respect, contemplation, pride and sadness. Moving images.

  3. That first book is obviously referencing the poem, "In Flanders Fields" by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (Canada). You can find the poem here, on the Arlington Cemetary website. I'm not much on poetry, but this poem I memorized in 7th grade after a memorable Peanuts special (yes, seriously, and whie you might think there are only about 5 holiday Peanuts specials, there are more like 50, just most of them aren't aired today.)

  4. Carin--wow, you weren't kidding! I was a big Peanuts fan when I was a kid so I hunted down the list you referenced. Yeah, probably more than fifty Peanuts specials! I would have liked to see "You Don't Look 40, Charlie Brown." (It was on the list!)

    Deirdre--great covers. I had completely forgotten that Veteran's Day is this week. I particularly like the first, since my kids always ask why we get little poppies when we donate to veterans. Hunting that one down! :)

  5. Hey, Patti--Hate to admit it, but Remembrance Day (Veteran's Day in the U.S.) seems to get a lot more attention in Canada. Versions of the poppies like the ones on the top cover above are EVERYWHERE this time of year. Whereas in the U.S., you might see them hanging from a rear-view mirror, in Canada they make poppy lapel pins, and it seems as though *everyone* wears them for days. It's really quite nice. Carin--I love the idea of liking a poem so much after seeing it on a Peanuts special that you go and memorize it. Julie Larios will love that!

  6. Thanks for the suggestion P&H.

    Carin -Thanks for the link. John McCrae's poem is especially moving when you hear a group of children reciting it.

    Here in Canada the poppies are a great reminder of Remembrance Day, I saw they were even selling larger ones for cars and door wreaths. I find the book covers do a lot to remind us too. They get kids asking their parents questions, especially when the cover is well done.