Monday, August 29, 2011

They Don't Make 'Em Like This Anymore--Or Do They?

Japhet, in Search of a Father by
Frederick Marryat, Henry M. Brock, illus.
(Macmillan, 1895 or 1903)


To post.


You must.

We're looking head-on at the prow of a ship (above) in Marryat's Japhet. See it?

Hard to believe this next one's in such good condition. Does that mean it wasn't read (i.e. loved) much?

Fred Bradford's Debt by Joanna H. Mathews
(Cassell and Co., 1882)
And who doesn't love a good Edward Lear? This one looks sort of modern in style:

Lear's Book of Nonsense, Edward Lear
(Warne and Co., London,
Scribner, Welford and Co., 1880)

All is not lost for lovers of olden covers! Here's one with a 1930s feel (1940s, maybe?). But it was actually published in this century (had me fooled):

Look and Cook by Tina Davis
(Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2004)
Here's another modern-day charmer :

The Victorian Fairy Tale Book, Michael Patrick Hearn, ed.
Diane Dillon, illus. ???
Pantheon, 1990

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Look Up, Look Down, Look All Around

The first two covers inspired this week's post with their similar layouts. What stands out in all of these covers is the combination of the photographic images, fonts, and art work.

There has to be a term for this top-bottom design with the title sandwiched in the middle (anyone know?). It certainly works to make the title the focal point.

(Tundra Books, 2010)

Great colour on the "wolves" cover, although I'm not sure about the hair - is she in a wind storm or is she falling?

(Viking Children's Books, 2010)

A.E. Cannon (Harper Teen, 2008)

Another top-bottom split, but this one might still be following the law of thirds by having the title cover more than half.

And on the next cover we get it all, the top-bottom split, some layering with print, and even a yoyo thrown in for good measure.

by Beverley Brenna (Red Deer Press, 2007)

The extra art work builds on the photographs and grounds the images to the page. No floating heads here.

Andrew Smith (Feiwel & Friends, 2010)

Yes, this last one is more of a left-right split, but still very cool images. Great choice with the colour only appearing in the lenses.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Jacket Knack on the Road: St. Michael's, MD

There are many picturesque little towns and communities peppering the eastern shore of Maryland. While there is an abundance of gift stores and nautical-themed d├ęcor shops, there’s a serious lack of bookstores--especially children’s bookstores. But I was tickled to find plenty of reading material for youngsters at Calico Toys & Games, in the lovely town of St. Michael’s.

Prominently displayed, of course, is local history. This illustrated story tells of the legend of how St. Michael’s was spared from British massacre during the War of 1812.

The Town That Fooled The British : A War Of 1812 Story Lisa Papp.
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press, May 2011).

Calico’s book section is a smorgasbord of fun for the kids: Brain Quests! Mad Libs! Klutz books! Read-Write-Draw It! And that’s just their book section. Imagine what the rest of the store is like. But don’t let the fun deceive you. There are some definite gems to be found here, too:

Poetry for Young People: American Poetry
by John Hollander (Editor) Publisher: Sterling Publishing, March 2004

More local ‘history’, disguised as a picture book!

B Is for Blue Crab: A Maryland Alphabet by Shirley Menendez
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press; September 2004

And horses! Don’t forget the horses!

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
Publisher: Simon &Schuster Children's Publishing (paperback reissue) December, 2006

Our trip to Calico’s Toys & Games was certainly entertaining. They offer a nice variety of toys, games, and books—something for everyone, even for us fantasy lovers: haunted houses, ghosts, and ZOMBIES!

Your Grandparents Are Zombies by Anson Montgomery (Publisher: Chooseco LLC, October 2010)

Haunted House by R. A. Montgomery (Publisher: Chooseco LLC, May 2007); and

Ghost Island by Shannon Gilligan (Publisher: Chooseco LLC, May 2008)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Circular Reasonings

Round and round and round we go . . . 
Shall we talk of circles on children's book covers? We shall! Circles suggest targets, planets, infinity, security, rolling, wholeness, irises, rings, discs. Consider these covers and what may have been the reasons for their circular designs:

Nickel Plated by Aric Davis
(Amazon Encore, 2011)
Outside of logo designs, circles are less common elements of design which makes them good for grabbing attention, providing emphasis, and breaking up familiar rectangular blocks of text. ~ Jacci Howard Bear,

Countdown by Deborah Wiles
(Scholastic, 2010)

This clever cover has a circle at its heart:

Bunheads by Sophie Flack
(Poppy/Little Brown, October 2011)

Circles abound on the cover of this picture book:

Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan, Sophie Blackall, illus.
(Viking, 2010)

And finally, a personal favorite, circle-wise:

Nothing to Lose by Alex Flinn
(HarperCollins, 2005)

Monday, August 1, 2011

To Chase the Glowing Hours . . .

I, Emma Freke by Elizabeth Atkinson
(CarolRhoda, 2010)
"The earth is my body; my head is in the stars." ~ Maude

This week's theme: Covers which defy gravity. Feel free to join in with your own lofty cover recommendations in the comments.

Cromwell Dixon's Sky-Cycle
by John Abbott Nez, a non-fiction picture book
(Putnam, 2009)
Flying! by Kevin Luthardt
(Peachtree, 2009)
Willoughby and the Moon by Greg Foley
(HarperCollins, 2010)
The Summer I Learned to Fly
by Dana Reinhardt
(Wendy Lamb Books, 2011)
 More visions of the celestial sphere:

Blackout by John Rocco
(Hyperion, 2011)
Cloud Boy by Rhode Montijo
(Simon and Schuster, 2006)
And for a little twist on this theme, how about a "grounded" angel?

The Beautiful Dead: Book One, Jonas
by Eden Maguire
(Sourcebooks, 2010)