Monday, October 31, 2011


Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich
by Adam Rex
(Harcourt, 2006)
Greetings, eye candy lovers! We have chosen the obvious for today's post: All Hallow's Eve covers. These are all Halloween books in verse (or of verse), yet they differ vastly from one another in style and subject matter. No copycats here--that's as plain as the wart on a witch's nose.

This witch apparently does not know that black robes are expected, and that they are also slimming:

By the Light of the Halloween Moon
by Caroline Stutso
Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
(reprinted by Marshall Cavendish, 2009)

Halloween Night positively glows:

Halloween Night
by Marjorie Dennis Murray
Illus. Brandon Dorman
(Greenwillow, 2010)

More clever covers--monsters, ghosts and witches!

There Was an Old Monster
by the Emberleys
(Orchard, 2009)

Three Little Ghosties
by Pippa Goodhart
Illus. by Annalaura Cantone
(Bloomsbury, 2007)

Which Way to Witch School?
by Scott Santoro
(Harper, 2010)
May your Halloween be full of the stuff nightmares are made of.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Slapped Hen Enjoy

Johnny Appleseed
by Jane Yolen, illus. Jim Burke
(HarperCollins, 2008)
No, this is not a post about chicken abuse. I just wanted to get your attention. "Slapped Hen Enjoy" is an anagram for Johnny Appleseed, the folk hero known for traveling the United States in the early years of this country, spreading apple seeds wherever he went.

What many of us were taught about Mr. Seed is somewhat inaccurate, or so I've read. Hence the title, I suspect, of Jane Yolen's recent picture book biography, Johnny Appleseed: The Legend and the Truth. Gorgeous cover painting.

Not surprisingly, there are scads of Johnny Appleseed books out there. (What is surprising is how many of their covers show J. A. striding against a backdrop of countryside.) Here is just a sampling of some of the better known versions, one from each of the past few decades:


by Patsy Jensen, illus. by Pat Hoggan
(Troll, 1994)


Steven Kellogg's version
(Morrow, 1988)


LaVere Anderson, illus. Kelly Oechsli
(Garrard, 1974)

By Aliki
(Prentice-Hall, 1963)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Clever Covers--A Jacket Knack Challenge!

(Or, “See the Signs—Part Two.”)

A few weeks ago, at back-to-school night, I browsed the Scholastic book fair and this cover caught my eye:

(Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated: January 2011)

I love that the words are part of the artistic design. Then last week, I was excited to see that Deirdre had also found some similar covers, using signs for her post, See the Signs. I thought I would continue with this subject, but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

I started hunting for similar covers that incorporated the title into the art. I found a few at the book fair, and none at the library. Even my online bookstore search didn’t produce many results. I was surprised to find this device is not used as much as I thought it would be.
Here’s what I found:

Troy High (Abrams, Harry N., Inc.: August 2010)

Ruined (Scholastic, Inc.: August 2010)

And coming soon,

My Name Is Not Easy (Cavendish, Marshall Corporation: October 2011)

So here’s a JACKET KNACK challenge: How many other clever covers can you find?
What qualifies: any covers that mix the words of the title into the art, as an artistic element. (Covers that were posted on Jacket Knack last week or this week do not qualify.) Post a link to a cover in a comment to enter. At the end of October, I’ll do a drawing from the entrants and send the lucky winner a copy of Debby Dahl Edwardson’s new YA novel, My Name Is Not Easy. Good luck!

Monday, October 10, 2011

See the Signs

If you were designing a book cover, how would you incorporate the title? Using a sign is one technique to join the two together.

The first two covers give the reader the sense that the character is sending them a message. Holding a sign like a person out of work or hitchhiker coveys the feeling of desperation.

EgmontUSA, 2011

BloomsburyUSA Childrens, 2008

Road signs pop up now and then on children's book covers. The author's name in sky writing is a nice addition.
Jack Gantos (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2011)

Even hungry giants have something to say in writing.

by Caitlin Friedman, illustrated by Shaw Nielson
(Workman Publishing, 2011)

Okay, this cat isn't holding the sign, but it's still pretty cute.

Jacket Art Karen Massier and Enrique De la Osa,
Cover design Elizabeth B. Parisi
Published by The Chicken House

Have fun reading the signs.
p.s. Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian friends.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Autumn Oughta Matter

Apple Picking Time by Michele Benoit Slawson
Deborah Kogan Ray, illus.
(Random House, 1998)
It's fall in Chicagoland. Time for apple cider and cinnamon doughnuts. (Okay, mostly cinnamon doughnuts, but hey.)

So what about apples and apple-picking picture book covers? Your humble correspondent set out for the orchard to see what she (me) could see.


(I brush hay off corduroys.)

There really aren't that many notable covers that feature apples out right now (unless you count self-published books, which we rarely do here). There's a gorgeous new-ish offering (2008), a picture book about Johnny Appleseed by the inimitable Jane Yolen and Jim Burke, but that's for another post. What follows is a gala display of covers with deliciously interesting art.

Didn't find many non-fiction covers of note, but this one is golden:

From Seed to Apple Tree: Following the Life Cycle
by Suzanne Slade, Jeff Yesh, illus.
(Coughlan, 2009)

Little Apple Goat by Caroling Jayne Church
(Eerdman's, 2007)

What's up with apples and mice?

Little Mouse and the Big Red Apple
by A.H. Benjamin, Gwyneth Williamson
(Sandy Creek, 2010)

Steven Kroll's The Biggest Apple Ever
(author/illustrator of the hugely successful
The Biggest Pumpkin Ever)
Illus. by Jeni Bassett
(Scholastic, 2011)

A New House for Mouse by Petr Horacek
(Candlewick, 2004)

Gorgeous cover here, but of course we expect no less from Ted Lewin:

Eve Bunting's One Green Apple
Illus. Ted Lewin
(Clarion, 2006)