Monday, December 13, 2010

Gift Giving Guide - Looking for the Wow

This post was intended to be a "what kids want, really, really want" gift guide. So I went to a few bookstores to see what book covers were causing kids to yell "Wow, I want this one!"

Unfortunately, parents were the ones pulling the books off the shelves while the kids gravitated towards the toys stacked nearby. And the children that were looking at book covers were trying to find the next book in their favorite series.

What did I learn from this experiment? Children go with what they know, and parents are there to expose their children to new and equally exciting experiences. So if you are looking for gifts that expand horizons, here are a few book covers that have the "wow" factor built in.

Mirror by Jeannie Baker (Candlewick, 2010) offers two covers in one book. The innovative design doesn't end there. The detail of the collage illustrations will have children discovering new images each time they stare at the mirror.

A cover that sets the mood is Swing Cafe illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer, written by Carl Norac. It even has the music to go with it.

Middle graders will be "starstruck" by either one of these two covers.
Both give a sense of movement and depth, which adds to the sense of magic these stories hold.

(Kanel Miller Book Publishers, 2010) (Scholastic Press, 2010)

For those young adult readers who may be tired of seeing the same photograph on every YA novel, surprise them with covers that show a little thought went into the design. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohen & David Levithan (Knopf Books, 2010).
The 10 pm Question by Kate De Goldi (Candlewick, 2010).

Any children's book covers that you think have the "Wow" factor? Send us the ones that you love to give as gifts. Have a happy holiday season!


  1. These book covers are so good they can double as wrapping paper for the book you're giving:

    THE CANDYMAKERS by Wendy Mass

    BELLY UP by Stuart Gibbs

    ZOMBIES VS. UNICORNS edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

  2. How about POLAR BEAR NIGHT by Lauren Thompson? Such a pretty cover--such a pretty book. And a good choice for winter giving:

  3. Thanks for the picks. I want to frame the cover Polar Bear Night. The Candymakers ooozes colour and fun. And which edition do you like of Zombies vs Unicorns? The ebook edition I saw had a strange looking zombie on it but I like the wordless cover.

  4. I love the idea of wrapping paper that matches the book's cover. Sort of meta. Some publisher should do this as a promo.

  5. I found the covers for The Kneebone Boy and A Tale Dark and Grimm intriguing. And the cover of Erin Bow's Plain Kate is just very pretty. Prisoners in the Palace has a cool treatment of a portrait of young Queen Victoria and doesn't give the title at all, which is interesting.