Once in a while, I blog about book covers that drive me crazy because they are either overdone, mired in trend and cliché, or are impossible handsells. I figure it’s time to celebrate some standouts, too, and I think we’ll make it a monthly feature. Here are some of May’s MG and YA covers that are a little different, catch the eye, and just leap into kids’ and teens’ hands.
Little Dog Lost by Marion Dane Bauer (Atheneum). Major kid appeal. I mean, come on. Who could resist this cover??
The Fire Ascending by Chris D’Lacey (Orchard). This series has consistently provided readers with striking covers, and the latest one is no exception.
Unlikely Friendships: The Dog & the Piglet and 4 Other Stories of Animal Friendships by Jennifer S. Holland (Workman). Do I really need to annotate this one? I didn’t think so. The coos and “ohhhs” from kids when they see this speaks volumes. Baby animals for the win.
Steampunk: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, with illustrations by Zdenko Basic and Manuel Sumberac (Candlewick). While the audience for this one is perhaps narrower than, say, Animal Friendships above, this is such an arresting cover for a classic novel that teens are fascinated and willing to dive right in.
Endure by Carrie Jones (Bloomsbury). Okay, let me explain. Even though this cover falls into the photo-of-a-partial-face trend that has been done a thousand times, it (and the other covers in this series) set the bar for how these parti-faces can work well. It’s also the gold; okay, it’s probably mostly the gold. But because gold figures into the world of these stories in a significant way, there’s a *reason* for using it that goes beyond mere aesthetics.
Stickman Odyssey: The Wrath of Zozimos by Christopher Ford (Philomel). Many cartoon covers are jam-packed with images, which some kids like but which overwhelm others. This cover has a great combination of comic appeal and … energy rendered in a restful way: focused, not frenetic.
Railsea by China Miéville (Del Rey). This one is just cool. The treatment of the title font is unusual, the cover image of the tracks hasn’t been done to death, and everything works together to create interest.
Readers, what are some of your favorite MG and YA covers this month, and why? (No fair nominating your own.)
China Mieville is an incredible author, it’s cool he’s writing for a younger audience.
The very cool Steampunk Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is published by Running Press, not Candlewick. Also available from RP for young steampunkers is Steampunk Poe and coming in November Steampunk H. G. Wells.
Also, LOVED Stickman Odyssey and very excited to see book 2!