Great New Covers

Josie Leavitt - May 15, 2013

I know I often use this space to complain about book covers. But I’m happy to report that today I want to sing the praises of a new series of books from Vintage Children’s Classics.These books originated in the U.K. as Random House books and they are quite simply, stunning.
This line of books has a myriad of titles, all of them good, and the covers are newly updated. What I particularly love is the clever use of the back cover. All the back covers have the standard book paragraph summary. What makes them different is the “Backstory” one-sentence summation of the book. For instance the “Backstory of The Railway Children is: Find out about steam trains and learn what it was really like to be a child in Edwardian times.”
On the surface this one sentence is not that big a deal, but it is extremely helpful to have just one sentence that kids can read. Frankly, if this sentence pulls them in, then they’ll just start reading. And then, if the backstory isn’t enough, they’ve added a real teaser on all the books. For instance on Five Children and It it says: Turn to page 11 to meet the Sand-fairy! Well, who’s not going to want to read to page 11? The teaser is accompanied by a lively, very kid-friendly illustration. All the books have this and I think it’s genius. It immediately engages the reader by bringing the story more to life and creating the element of surprise and suspense.
The front covers are actually fairly simple, but they’ve struck the right tone. There is a good balance between appealing to kids and not being child-like. I especially love the cover for Five Children & It.  Very cleverly, there are only four children on the cover, which I already find intriguing. (I know there is a baby, but readers won’t and that’s a neat thing.) The Sand-fairy is large and kind of creepy looking, but not scary. These covers just draw you in and the books themselves feel good in your hand, furthering their appeal.
Are there any covers out that you’ve seen lately that have struck you as quite good?

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