Best Covers of 2008 – Part 1

After looking at hundreds of 2008 children’s and YA fiction book covers, I’ve narrowed it down to my ten favorites. Here are the first three, in no particular order.

Each time I saw the cover of Triskellion by Will Peterson [Mark Billingham & Peter Cocks] (Candlewick) this year, it caught my attention and intrigued me.

triskellionThe white-gold bee silhouettes are beautiful by themselves (I’m a sucker for insect shapes). They stand out against the black and red background, circling and drawn to a light focused nicely in the “O” of the title. The off-center triangle and surrounding red dashed lines, the trillium shape, and the perfectly selected font… Each adds to the whole. Candlewick doesn’t credit the designer, on the flap, but they should!

dragoneyeEon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman (Viking) made my top ten first time I saw it. The exciting, mysterious art is just what a book needs to grab hold of potential readers. And I’m not the only one who loved this cover. Many of the reviews linked below mentioned the cover draw.

robeSilver foil can be overused, but it’s perfect on The Robe of Skulls by Vivian French (Candlewick). Only the skulls are silver. The skull in place of the “O” in Robe is a nice touch.

All of these titles have meshed the art beautifully with the title and author fonts and placement. Triskellion and Robe of Skulls both have great spines as well. I haven’t had a copy of Eon in my hands yet. Don’t know the designer and haven’t seen the spine.

Triskellion: When fourteen-year-old twins Adam and Rachel go to visit their grandmother in an unwelcoming and ancient English village, they realize that there is something unnatural about it and are swept up in an archaeological mystery. Age 13+. Reviews, 1, 2, 3.
Eon : Dragoneye Reborn: Sixteen-year-old Eon hopes to become an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune and learn to be its main interpreter, but to do so will require much, including keeping secret that she is a girl. Age 12+. Reviews, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Book Trailer.
Robe of Skulls: The sorceress Lady Lamorna has her heart set on a very expensive new robe, and she will stop at nothing–including kidnapping and black magic–to get the money to pay for it. Age 6-10. Reviews, 1, 2, 3, 4.

8 Responses to “Best Covers of 2008 – Part 1”

  1. Okay, that Triskellion cover is awesome– everything you said and just generally a great combination of beautiful, creepy, and intriguing. I like The Robe of Skulls cover, too, and how nice that they both have great spines. :-)

    I’m less crazy about the Eon cover, in large part, I think, because of your “fantasy loves circles” post! Since that post, I of course began seeing the circles everywhere and have become pretty inured to them at this point. As far as circles go, though, it’s one of the better ones.

    I can’t wait to see the rest of your picks!

  2. Yes, maybe the circles get a little cliche… still, I think other elements on the cover of Eon make it okay. The dragon eye in the “O” (did you notice every book here has some feature involving an “O”?), the volcanic cracks in the hot red background, the Chinese (?) calligraphy in the center of the disk. I think it is more of an integrated whole, than many of the other circles on fantasy.
    But those circles keep coming, don’t they?
    Thanks for the response, Lisa!

  3. yes, l. chinese calligaraphy–says dragon.
    i did one (calligraphy “long” = dragon)
    for the chapter illustrations for
    my own debut–but i don’t think it’s going to
    be used?

    did you choose the first three
    favorites’ similar
    color schemes on purpose?

  4. Dragon. That makes sense.
    Yes. The Bests will come in three posts, the first 2 have 3 covers and the last has four. In looking at the ten, however, one of the last ones should have been included with these three. I may have a penchant for red…?
    Certainly not in clothing though!

  5. I love the EON cover. I don’t mind the circle aspect, because it really grabs my attention. Plus the book was amazing. I wrote about it here:

  6. I see a color theme here. :) Didn’t really like the Eon cover but I can see why it appeals to people.

  7. Yes – I chose my top ten and then grouped them. Should have put the James Owen book here (it’s in the “Final” group). Don’t know why I didn’t.
    But this is most definitely the red group!

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