A Book by its Cover
By Kitty Griffin
If you’ve got a moment go to Publisher’s Weekly BEA 2015 “Can’t-Miss Kids’ Galleys” where they’ve listed some of the promising children’s titles coming out this year.
The first thing I did-- scan through the covers. Which one….which one…catches my eye.
This one. Not just the artwork, but the title! I LOVE it. A Curious Tale of the In-Between. What a curious title. That one definitely draws me in. Okay, I’m perusing again. Seeking the next best one. Nothing too different, nothing too eye-catching until…ah, look at this, Orbiting Jupiter. Interesting art, a boy soaring…or is he?
The next one that says, LOOK is The Accident Season, the world has turned upside down with the ground on top and the sky below with a falling girl. Yes. Intriguing.
Now, let’s go back and read the blurb for each of these.
“A Curious Tale of the in-Between by Lauren Defano, the author’s middle-grade debut, launching a series in which a girl can see ghosts.”
Yes. I will at least download a sample of this book to see if I want to keep going.
“Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt, about 14-year-old Joseph, who joins his family as a foster child after leaving prison and seeks to find the daughter he’s never seen.”
Hmmm. The depth of the emotion in this one, it would have to have some darned good reviews before I’d take the time to even look at a sample.
“The Accident Season, the story of Cara and her family, who inexplicably and unavoidably become accident-prone every October.”
This could be interesting. Curious premise. Curious indeed. Yes. I’ll take a look.
Now, there were several covers that just didn’t do it for me. To begin with, I’m tired of the angst-filled face of a teen-age girl. These populate the YA shelves. So, here we go again.
A History of Glitter and Blood.
Okay, I’ll read the blurb. “A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz, in which Beckan’s fairy clan is forced to venture into the gnome underworld to survive a war.
Oh Chronicle, that’s the best you could do for a cover? Seriously? Why not a divided picture with war on top and gnomes below? Because I LOVE fantasy. Sigh. What do you think?
Look at this cover for I Crawl Through It. I wouldn’t even pick this up to read the back matter. So let’s see—“I Crawl Through It by A.S. King about four teenagers coping with anxieties from senseless high-stakes testing and the lingering damage of past trauma”.
Huh? What is this about? Testing? Teenagers? Angst? The cover tells me nothing. The title tells me nothing. The blurb tells me nothing.
Am I being too harsh?
The final cover that just made me say, Huh? Was More Happy Than Not.
What did Zach say on the show “Bones” --- “What’s that mean?”
Let’s look at the blurb—“More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, in which 16-year-old Aaron Soto is coping with his father’s recent suicide.
Sorry. The cover doesn’t do it for me. The blurb doesn’t do it for me. The title doesn’t make me happy. Or not.
How important to you is the cover?
What about the title?
Don’t you wonder how they come up with these designs?
If you have a moment, I’d love to know which one appeals to you.