Monday, January 31, 2011

Hungry? Bite Into the WHAT'S FOR DINNER? Blog Tour

What's for Dinner? (Charlesbridge, February, 2011)
Let's talk perspective. Let's talk use of space. Let's talk about the cover art of the upcoming book of poems about who's eating whom in the animal world, What's for Dinner? by Katherine B. Hauth, illustrated by David Clark.

This cover grabs us and throws us into the belly of the beast--or at least onto its tongue--and gives us plenty of foreshadowing about what layeth ahead. Now that's an out-of-the-ordinary perspective. We're also given the sense that this creature's gaping maw extends well beyond the borders of the book. Yikes.

I asked illustrator David Clark for a few words about his work on What's for Dinner?:

"[T]he art was done with Pen & Ink with watercolor washes on Arches paper," Clark explains. "The subject matter was a dream for me.  My style and general sense of humor borders on the macabre...... (I assume Katherine is like minded)... So I was a pig in slop with this project!"

We're always asking on Jacket Knack how a cover might work to draw the right reader to it, and this one has a very good chance of succeeding. Beastly teeth, a frog, a fly, they all beckon to that kid with a taste for danger and icky things.

Thanks to David Clark and the folks at Charlesbridge, and thanks to author Uma Krishnaswami for pointing this publisher to our blog for the tour. Happy to be included!

David Clark's reference to style and the macabre makes me think of an article I read recently about another artist with perhaps similar taste:

Incidentally, did you know that Addams originally wanted to name the Addams' son "Pubert," but the publisher demurred?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Simply Irresistible: Bear Pond Books, January, 2011

What happens when a Jacket Knack blogger visits the children's bookstore? A new blog feature begins, that's what. Introducing "Simply Irresistible"! In this feature, we'll be traveling the world, taking cell phone snapshots (of questionable quality) of covers in situ on bookstore shelves and bringing them here to you.

Our first excursion takes us to Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, Vermont. What covers caught my eye? Behold!

Orangutans are Ticklish by Jill Davis
photography by Steve Grubman
(Schwartz and Wade, 2010)
We don't cover enough non-fiction covers. However, this orangutan was impossible to miss.

Looking for a Moose by Phyllis Root
illus. by Randy Cecil
(Candlewick, 2006)
Vermont and moose. Like peanut butter and jelly.

Thumbelina, illus. Sylvia Long (Chronicle, 2010)
This cover is way more gorgeous than this photo lets on. Thumbelina never had it so good.

Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates
(Random House, 2010)
Simple and sweet. For the youngest book lovers.

Last Song by James Guthrie, illus. by Eric Rohmann
(Roaring Brook, 2010)
The die-cut cover reveals a cuddly nest of sleeping squirrels. Read a review.

Warriors: Omen of the Stars #3, Night Whispers
by Erin Hunter (HarperCollins, 2010)
A middle grade fantasy series starring felines? How did I miss this one? Have you read them? Please do tell in the comments.

Dark Life by Kat Falls (Scholastic, 2010)

Nothing says eerie like a jellyfish. More about this debut novel here.

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (Philomel, 2010)
I might not have looked twice at this image online, but in person this cover stands out! Read a review from the LA Times that makes this vampiric novel sound like what the Twilight series should have been.

Jennifer Donnelly's Revolution (Delacorte, 2010)
A twist on the half-face cover meme.

Good Fortune by Noni Carter (Simon and Schuster, 2011)
Hurrah for cover girls of color!

Here's hoping you've enjoyed our journey through Bear Pond Books. Comments encouraged!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Celebrating Peace

On this day of remembrance, JACKET KNACK celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Here are some offerings of beautiful books that depict his life, his teachings, and his dreams of peace:

I love the happiness that radiates from his face in this picture. Too often, he's pictured as angry or serious. What a great reminder that he was a very loving man!

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport, Bryan Collier (Illustrator) (Hyperion Books for Children, 2007)

The rainbow behind the words accentuates idea of the "promised land" and the sunlight on his hands gives the feel of a new day dawning.

I've Seen the Promised Land: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Walter Dean Myers, Leonard Jenkins (Illustrator) (HarperCollins Publishers, 2003)

Peace in the animal kingdom seem a little farfetched? It's a beautiful story and a wonderful lesson about helping others!

The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009)

An interesting note: Jerry Pinkney is an accomplished Corretta Scott King Award winning artist who contributed to the 1997 publication I Have a Dream (Scholastic Press).

Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy continues and his words are echoed in the appeals for global peace:

by Jean Cullerton Johnson, illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler (Lee Low Books, 2010)

by Spike Lee and Tanya Lewis Lee, illustrated by Sean Qualls

(Simon & Shuster Children’s Book, 2011)

Fading adults into the background and the chalky circle around the giant step both highlight that children can take giant steps to change the world and be activists too.

--Submitted by Deirdre & Patti