Monday, April 25, 2011

Going on an Egg Hunt

After an exciting weekend of egg decorating and searching for chocolate eggs, I wondered how eggs have factored in book cover design.

So I'm sending you on an egg hunt. Grab your basket, head to the kidlit shelves, and don't forget to look under the bed for book covers that display nature's amazing design, the egg. Here are a few of my finds to get things started:

With a shape so recognizable there is no doubt as to the title of this picture book.

Roaring Brook Press (2007)

Great font and colour selection on Tina Matthew's Out of the Egg

Houghton Mifflin Books for Young Children (2007)

I really had to hunt around but I finally found an egg on a YA cover:

by Dubravka Ugresic
Canongate Books (2010)

There is something about Jerry Spinelli's Eggs that I love. Maybe it's the simplicity or the symmetry. Or maybe it's the farm fresh quality.

Little, Brown Young Readers (2007)

Come join in the fun. Send us your egg covers (whole, cracked, scrambled or sunny-side up) and we'll post them.
Happy hunting.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Word Art

Faces: they’re everywhere. Browse the YA section and you get the feeling you’re being watched. A crowd of faces stares back at you from YA jacket covers. If you ignore the faces, you can also find plenty of body parts to look at (necks and torsos seem to be “in” these days), and there’s lovely scenery featured on covers, too. Sometimes, it’s easy to lose the book title in all the embellishments.

Here are some YA covers that focus simply on their title:

Fallout by Ellen Hopkins
(Margaret K. McElderry Books; September, 2010)

Karma by Cathy Ostlere (Razorbill; March, 2011)

The contrasting colors draw the eye to the title, but a closer look reveals profiles of a couple in the scrollwork below it.

7 Kinds of Ordinary Catastrophes by Amber Kizer

(Delacorte Books for Young Readers; April, 2011)

Summer and the City: A Carrie Diaries Novel by Candace Bushnell

(Balzer + Bray; April, 2011)

A clever way to pull readers into a “diaries” novel—the title looks like it’s embossed onto a leather journal.

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia

(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; October, 2010)

Monday, April 11, 2011

More Than Meets the Eye

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
(HarperCollins, 2005)

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.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Simply Irresistible: Blue Hill Books, April, 2011

Welcome to another installment of "Simply Irresistible," a Jacket Knack feature wherein we travel the world taking cell phone snapshots (of questionable quality) of covers in situ on bookstore shelves and then bringing them here to you.

This time we find ourselves in Blue Hill, Maine. It was a sleety afternoon in early April when we visited, but a cozy and inviting welcome awaited us at Blue Hill Books, a tiny but well stocked shop.

The kids' selections were downstairs so we tromped on down with our camera to snap pix of any book covers that caught our attention. Despite the limited space, we found plenty of cover candy to feast on, both old favorites and new:

Blue Hill Books provides proof that there's no shortage of local children's book authors in Downeast Maine: