Watching a toddler enjoy a book by squishing, crumpling and maybe even tasting it brings home the fact that there is more to a book than just the words. Of course we all know that. And so do book designers.
Books for preschoolers capture the child by appealing to many senses. The books by Matthew Van Fleet are perfect examples.
Heads by Matthew Van Fleet
(Simon & Schuster, 2010)
Picture book covers often add something for children to touch and feel. This one uses real sparkles.
by Jane O'Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
We don't outgrow the desire for texture on book covers, we just get more sophisticated with things like UV varnish, foil stamping and embossing. This kind of texture is where real books have e-readers beat.
Harry Potter books don't need much help drawing in readers but you'll have to hit the bookstore to really appreciate how the shiny metallic letters attract your fingers as well as your eyes.
Although the picture looks like a burning light bulb, your fingers will want to do the walking around the embossed spiral when this books is in your hands (Jacket art by Scott Meadows, jacket design by Ray Schappell and published by HarperTeen, 2010).
Some may think twice about touching this spooky face. I like the bumpy feel of the root-like beard. There's also some nice layering with gold foil around the border and the giant even has a jewel in one eye.
by Ari Berk (Candlewick Press/Templar Publishing, 2008)
designed by William Steele
Have a look at these covers the next time you are at your local bookstore. Then go ahead, reach out and touch one. Let us know how it stimulated your senses.