I think that a frame is a common enough item on book covers. Yet, using a frame within a frame can be very effective, and without seeming overdone. Each of these covers uses the frame a little differently. Me, the Missing, and the Dead by Jenny Valentine (HarperTeen 2008) – a mirror? or an empty frame that makes the person behind it invisible? ; Matisse on the Loose by Georgia Bragg (Delacorte 2009), tipped and making it’s way out of the picture ; Heartsinger by Karlijn Stoffels (Arthur A. Levine, 2009) – interesting use of the cropped face ; and Vidalia in Paris by Sasha Watson (Viking 2008) – traditional frame and frame for the title.
An interesting commonality here is that these novels take place in coutries other than the U.S. (not sure about the Matisse book). And it may not surprise anyone that some of them have to do with art, artists, or art museums.



UPDATE (May 16, 2009): Well this is interesting. I just happened across this book, an April release from Canadian publisher Key Porter:


Me, the Missing: When a series of chance events leaves him in possession of an urn with ashes, sixteen-year-old Londoner, Lucas Swain, becomes convinced that its occupant, Violet Park, is communicating with him, initiating a voyage of self-discovery that forces him to finally confront the events surrounding his father’s sudden disappearance. Age 14+. Reviews: 1, 2.
Matisse: An aspiring artist’s daily routine of being embarrassed by his eccentric family is interrupted when he finds himself in the middle of an art museum fiasco involving Matisse’s 1909 portrait of his son Pierre. Age 8-12.
Heartsinger: In this meditation on various kinds of love, Mee travels across the country to the court of the Princess Esperanza, singing the life stories of some of the people he meets. Age 12+. Reviews: 1, 2, 3.
Vidalia in Paris: Teenage Vidalia’s summer in Paris studying art settles into a stimulating and enjoyable routine until she becomes romantically involved with a mysterious young man who seems to have ties to an art-theft ring. Age 12+. Reviews: 1, 2, 3.


4 Responses to “Framed!”

  1. Jessica Says:

    I think it’s interesting that with all of the choices of potential frames out there that could be used, the cover designers all chose not only to feature a frame in the first place, but also to use very similar elaborate, heavy gold frames. Nothing modern, edgy, or colorful. It’s stereotyping the story in a visual way without needing to even have something in the frame!

  2. And they all came after ‘The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World’ which came out in 2007 with a frame on the cover.

    I wonder if the identical ones are from publisher-graphics people trying to get by with a cheap stock photo. ;)

  3. Dont the pictures inside the frame look the same but a little photoshopped on the heartsinger and amy by any other name

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