Perkins’ Poll and AIYLA

I was wondering what Mitali Perkins’ PoC Faces on Book Covers poll was going to find. Here it is. Not surprising.

I’ve been thinking about something related to Perkins’ poll, but only tangentially related to book covers… The  American Indian Youth Literature Awards for 2010 were announced at ALA Midwinter. I know Debbie Reese has been a voice for representation of Native Americans in children’s literature and she may have written something about this (I haven’t seen it). What I notice each time the AIYL Awards are announced is that they can be hard to get because they are published by very specialized presses often not easily available through the regular library sources. My comment is not meant to detract from the work of any small press. But I wonder if it is a phenomenon of this particular award? Or is it just that there are so few books published by mainstream publishers? For example – if you look at the Coretta Scott King Awards, Pura Belpre Awards or the Asian-Pacific American Literature Awards– it’s mostly mainstream publishing. With all the downside of publishing PoC, is it worst for American Indians?

Here’s the 2010 YA winner of the American Indian Youth Literature Awards, published by a Hawaiian press that appears to be run by a school system (the website says “a division of the Kamehameha School System“). The book does not appear in the Library of Congress Catalog, and little information can be found at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

Here’s where I’ll get my cover reference in. Blue seems to work very well on book covers. This one is very soothing. The whale shape is attractive and reminds me of the artistic style of the tribes of the Northwest. The title text is not exciting – a larger and swirlier font could work well. It’s very formal-looking. But perhaps this is what best suits the text.
I’m not sure the cover of Between the Deep Blue Sea and Me by Lurline Wailana McGregor (Kamehameha Publishing 2008) will attract teens – but it could. I’ll be purchasing this for our teen collection, and it’ll be one of the books I’ll read this year.
Between the Deep Blue Sea and Me: Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4.


4 Responses to “Perkins’ Poll and AIYLA”

  1. I LOVE that cover! But it does make it look like a book for grown-ups. And to me the typeface says “textbook.”

  2. When I was a kid I loved anything with an animal on the cover, so I would have picked this up in a heartbeat. And the blue stylized artwork is stunning. Love it.

  3. I love this cover!

    And I thought of your blog when I wrote this post for my own blog:

  4. Oh, good, it’s not just me. This cover fascinated me, but I don’t think my library will be able to get it if the press is that small. Pooey. :(

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