Monday, April 23, 2012

A Happy Ending

Oh No! Time to Go! A Book of Goodbyes
Rebecca Doughty
(Schwartz and Wade/Random House, 2009)
“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” ~ Orson Welles

Dear Jacket Knack readers,

Deirdre, Patti and I have decided to suspend postings on Jacket Knack indefinitely. While our interest in children's book cover design hasn't diminished in the least, the time we have available to devote to this beloved blog has. You know how it is. Life and stuff.

On behalf of all of us, I extend a sincere thank you to all of our readers, subscribers, contributers and commenters. Your company made this a great trip!


"In the hope to meet
Shortly again, and make our absence sweet."
 ~Ben Jonson

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Faces of the Moon

“The night walked down the sky with the moon in her hand.”

- Frederic Lawrence Knowles

(Authors: Carolyn Curtis and Alison Jay; Publisher: Barefoot Books, March 2003)

“Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

― Anton Chekhov

(Author: Eric Carle; Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers; August 1991)

“Do not swear by the moon, for she changes constantly. Then your love would also change.”
― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

(Author: Charles Mathes; Publisher: Illumination Arts Publishing Company; April 2003)

'“Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.”
― Mark Twain

(Author: Devin Scilian; Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press; August 2003)

“Cheap little rhymes
A cheap little tune
Are sometimes as dangerous
As a sliver of the moon.”

― Langston Hughes

(Author: Carl Sandberg; Publisher: Holiday House; September 2008)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Do You See What I See?

Ever look at a book cover and then after a second look get a whole new impression of the story? Those ah-ha moments are so satisfying. 
Pull out the binoculars and take a look, or two. 

 by Carley Moore
(Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2012)

First impressions of the next one?
(Nancy Paulsen Books, 2012)
Did it flip from space travel to drug addiction as you read the whole title Beneath A Meth Moon

(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2012)
The space image is hard to miss on the cover of Boy 21, and a closer look will reveal a few more vital story elements.  

 (Putnam Juvenile, 2012)
Did you see the dog? Of course you did, but doesn't the title add more interest?

(Ember, 2012)
The first two swans pop off the cover but the title helped me see the last one. 

How about you? Any double takes as you pass by the book shelves? 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Face Off, Round Two: Bray v. Anderson

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to another round of Jacket Knack's Face Off. This month, we've pitted two well known, award winning authors with mixed portfolios against each other. Both Libbra Bray and M. T. Anderson write historical and contemporary fiction for young adults, and short stories too. And they've both won distinguished literary awards and honors for their works.

Let's inspect their YA covers (first edition, hardcover publication) and see what faces show up.

By Libba Bray:

Published December 9th 2003 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Published August 23rd 2005 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Published December 26th 2007 by Random House Children's Books

Published September 22nd 2009 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Published May 24th 2011 by Scholastic Press

Now Anderson's covers:

Published March 3rd 1997 by Candlewick

Published August 4th 1999 by Candlewick

Published September 23rd 2002 by Candlewick

Published September 12th 2006 by Candlewick Press

Published October 14th 2008 by Candlewick Press

Anderson's book covers feature more faces than Bray's do, though there are plenty of bodies found on Bray's covers. Interestingly, most of Anderson's covers are graphic or illustrated, while Bray's are more photographic. The subjects could have been modeled. (Even the cow looks real.) As with last month's face off, the female author's covers feature mostly female bodies.

Another comparison to make: the representation of history on the historical fiction jackets. Anderson's Octavian Nothing (volumes one and two) covers provide more clues as to the period through the clothes and articles like the mask that Octavian is wearing. Even the muted colors contribute to that feeling. The subjects of Bray's Gemma Doyle series are wearing old-fashioned clothes, but the level of brightness and clarity gives them a more modern feel, in my opinion. These aspects were most likely considered when the publishers were looking at the appeal to prospective readers, but that begs the question of why? Wouldn't young girls be interested in the same story if they saw more cloaks, more artifacts that represented the period of the story on the cover?

In general, Anderson's covers have a lot more details to catch a reader's eye. But, maybe the reasoning is simply related to the audience: girls are usually more avid readers, while boys tend to be more reluctant readers. Publishers don't have to work as hard to entice a girl to open a book. Could the answer be so simple?