Archive for May, 2008

Sky Salute

Posted in book covers on May 21, 2008 by Jacket Whys

This is just a small selection of book covers that feature one central figure, usually in silhouette (or with his/her back to the viewer) posed with out stretched or upstretched arms. I have a picture of my twenty-something son doing the same thing (bottom photo) a victory salute to the sky upon reaching the summit during a mountain hike. I figure there must be something archetypal about the pose.
But it can’t always mean the same thing. Without reading the book summaries the figure on The Innocent’s Story by Nicky Singer (Holiday House 2007) looks like a lost or ghostly soul. An empty street with strange wall-like buildings trapping her in? On Season of Ice by Diane Les Becquets (Bloomsbury 2008 ) the young woman balances on a snow wall. The lightness of the background makes me think it’s lighter in tone.
The football player on Gym Candy by Carl Deuker (Houghton Mifflin 2007) looks victorious – after adversity (rain)? And Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd (David Fickling Books September 2008 ) looks alone in a storm, reaching out. Maybe a little supernatural.
Reading the summaries afterward, they seem a loose match with my impressions.

The Innocent’s Story: Thirteen-year-old Cassina Dixon narrates her existence after being killed in a terrorist bombing, when, as a “para-spirit,” she passes through a series of hosts, including the bomber and the religious zealot who would force him to kill again. Age 12+
Season of Ice: When seventeen-year-old Genesis Sommer’s father disappears on Moosehead Lake near their small-town Maine home in mid-November, she must cope with the pressure of keeping her family together, even while rumors about the event plague her. Age 12+
Gym Candy: Groomed by his father to be a star player, football is the only thing that has ever really mattered to Mick Johnson, who works hard for a spot on the varsity team his freshman year, then tries to hold onto his edge by using steroids, despite the consequences to his health and social life. Age 12+
Bog Child
: In 1981, the height of Ireland’s “Troubles,” eighteen-year-old Fergus is distracted from his upcoming A-level exams by his imprisoned brother’s hunger strike, the stress of being a courier for Sinn Fein, and dreams of a murdered girl whose body he discovered in a bog. Age 12+

Smiley Faces

Posted in Uncategorized on May 13, 2008 by Jacket Whys

Here’s something that’s cropping up a lot lately. The Smiley Face book. The first one I remember seeing was in a December post on The Book Design Review highlighting the jacket of Against Happiness. Those posted here are children’s books, and not quite the same idea (the smile on Against Happiness is actually an upside-down smile, and it’s done with the title text on a yellow background).
These three all happen to be on a white background. I haven’t been able to draw any plot parallels, at least from the CIP summaries. Jeremy Cabbage by David Elliott (Knopf March 2008 ), Big Mouth by Deborah Halverson (Delacorte June 2008 ), and Smiles to Go by Jerry Spinelli (Joanna Cotler May 2008 ) will all have been released within a couple of months of each other.

These book jackets lead me to think that the books are lighthearted in tone, but none of them really sound that way. I wonder what the authors think?

Jeremy Cabbage: While searching for a loving family, orphaned Jeremy becomes entangled in a conflict between his city’s arrogant and oppressive leader, the Baron von Strompie, and a group of outlandish people called the “cloons.” Ages 8-12.
Big Mouth: Fourteen-year-old Sherman Thuff, a student at the tomato-obsessed Del Heiny Junior High, has his hopes set on being a competitive eater, but when his training regimen begins to seriously interfere with his enjoyment of life and he even starts losing his friends, he decides he should rearrange his priorities. Ages 10+
Smiles to Go: Will Tuppence’s life has always been ruled by science and common sense but in ninth grade, shaken up by the discovery that protons decay, he begins to see the entire world differently and gains new perspective on his relationships with his little sister and two closest friends. Ages 10-14

Alternate Giver

Posted in book covers, illustration on May 2, 2008 by Jacket Whys

A quick entry. There has always been a lot of talk about the cover of Lois Lowry’s The Giver (). The rumor was that Lowry insisted the old man image be on the cover. A post on the Girls Who Draw blog linked to an interesting alternate cover drawing/design (you’ll have to go to the post to see it, and do check out her senior thesis for others!). There’s also an alternate jacket to Brave New World – one that, unlike The Giver, has had lots of different jacket art over the years.
I’ve been reading some articles about book covers (this will come up in future posts), many of which have discussed jacket art as advertising, as have I in several of my posts. Would this alternate cover sell more copies of The Giver? Or does it matter when it is a book that has won major awards?
UPDATE: Found The Giver in Vietnamese on Lois Lowry’s blog – see below]

ANOTHER UPDATE: I just saw the cover on the right – in English – in a bookstore in Connecticut!