Archive for December, 2007

Yellow Jackets

Posted in book covers on December 16, 2007 by Jacket Whys

These yellow covers of 2007 titles catch attention with one centered image and for two of them, very subtle title text. Betwixt by Tara Bray Smith (Little, Brown), Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (Knopf- Jacket art c2007 by Michael Storrings.), and by Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern (Feiwel & Friends), and Schooled by Gordon Korman (Hyperion – Jacket design by Ellice M. Lee. Jacket photographs, front to back: cRoyalty-Free/Hemera Technologies/Jupiter Images; cRoyalty-Free/Comstock Images/Jupiter Images).

Betwixt Naomi and Ely

Get Well Schooled

Most of these titles are for older teens. Is there something about this bright yellow that designers think will work for teens? Does it? Also, notice that each title comes from a different publisher. Is there a quota? Are designers allowed one yellow book a year?

[Update: One more for the yellow listHitler’s Canary by Sandi Toksvig (Roaring Brook 2007, c2005)]
Hitler’s Canary

Betwixt: Three alienated teenagers are drawn to a strange outdoor concert in the woods outside of Seattle, where they discover that they possess magical powers and that their destinies are intertwined. (Age 14+)
Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List: Although they have been friends and neighbors all their lives, straight Naomi and gay Ely find their relationship severely strained during their freshman year at New York University. (Age 14+)
Get Well Soon: When her parents confine her to a mental hospital, an overweight teenage girl, who suffers from panic attacks, describes her experiences in a series of letters to a friend. (Age 12+)
Schooled: Cap lives in isolation with his grandmother, a former hippie; but when she falls from a tree and breaks her hip, Cap is sent to a foster home where he has his first experience in a public school. (Ages 8-12)
Hitler’s Canary: Ten-year-old Bamse and his Jewish friend Anton participate in the Danish Resistance during World War II. (Ages 9-12)


Make a Fist

Posted in book covers on December 16, 2007 by Jacket Whys

Two new books feature fists. Cecil Castellucci’s Beige (Candlewick 2007) and Kate Wild’s Fight Game (Scholastic 2007). Both designers opted to show the title in letters written on the hands.

Beige Fight Game
Beige: Katy, a quiet French Canadian teenager, reluctantly leaves Montreal to spend time with her estranged father, an aging Los Angeles punk rock legend. (Age 14+)
Fight Game: Fifteen-year-old Freedom Smith is a fighter, just like all of his relatives who have the “Hercules gene,” which leads him to a choice between being jailed for attempted murder or working with a covert law enforcement agency to break up a mysterious, illegal fight ring. (Ages 9-12)

The fist coming out at the viewer makes an impact. You want to know who the fist is aimed at and why. Does the fist truly represent the story within?

Girls in Trucks

Posted in book covers on December 15, 2007 by Jacket Whys

This is an interesting cover set. Semiprecious by D. Anne Love (McElderry 2006) was advertised with the first cover, but when it was released, a different photo, flipped and with an older girl was used. The focus in the first picture is the driver. The main character in the second picture is the passenger:

Semiprecious1 Semiprecious2
The next year, Paul Acampora’s book, Defining Dulcie (Dial 2007), came out with the same cover photo (recolorized to make the truck red) as the first cover release of Semiprecious.
Semiprecious: Uprooted and living with an aunt in 1960s Oklahoma, thirteen-year-old Garnet and her older sister Opal brave their mother’s desertion and their father’s recovery from an accident, learning that “the best home of all is the one you make inside yourself.” (Ages 10-14)
Defining Dulcie: When sixteen-year-old Dulcie’s father dies, her mother makes a decision to move them to California where Dulcie makes an equally radical decision to steal her dad’s old truck and head back home. (Age 10+)

So why was the first cover changed? I am guessing it was because to match with the story, two people needed to be in the truck. Why did the orientation change (truck facing left / truck facing right)? Without having read the book, I’m guessing the narrator is the passenger in the truck, not the driver. What influenced the decision to make the truck red in Defining Dulcie? Does the girl in the truck look old enough to drive?