Whatsit Stanton here . . . curious about what's under the covers :)
When I received the proofs for my picture book, Henny, I was delighted to see the plans my art director at Simon & Schuster had for the hard case cover come to life. I love that Henny has a distinctly different identity beneath her simple, cheerful jacket:
It got me wondering about what lies beneath the dust jackets of other picture books, so I thought it would be fun to share some of what I found after taking a peek at my own collection.
As I undressed the books, I discovered that most of them have hard case covers that exactly match their dust jackets. For these books, there are no hidden surprises, but there is most certainly delight at the repetition. More is better, right? Case in point, Whatsit Kevan Atteberry's colorful and super fun, Bunnies!!! (2015)
As I went along, I set aside the books that, to whatever degree, had hard covers that varied from their dust jackets.
Here are some highlights, roughly categorized by type—some old, some new— from my modest but ever-growing collection of picture books:
Here are a few no-title, no-image covers:
Raymond Briggs’s The Snowman (1978) picks up the beautiful blue background from the jacket.
Steig’s Brave Irene (1986) plain cloth cover takes off on Irene’s red scarf, hat, and mittens.
Maurice Sendak's, We Are All in the Dumps With Jack and Guy (1993) has, in spite of its bold jacket, a remarkably plain brown paper cover.
Then there are those with predominantly plain covers that have embossed teasers hinting at what's inside:
The classic, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (1978), with an embossed, to-the-point image!
Two little embossed ants creep onto the otherwise blank cloth cover of Chris Van Allsburg's Two Bad Ants (1988)
Barbara McClintock's Adele & Simon (2006) has a subtle embossed cat on the case, a nod to the drawing Simon is holding in the image on the jacket.
I was especially delighted today when my copy of Phillip and Erin Stead's Lenny & Lucy (2015) arrived. The warm golden foil images on the case tie in with the raised and comparably golden title on the dust jacket:
Then there are covers where, instead of the title dropping out, the image drops out:
Crow and Weasel by Barry Lopez, illustrated by Tom Pohrt (1990)—a beautiful classic with a handsome blue cloth cover with a golden foil title.
This case title for Robert L. Forbes's collection of animal rhymes, illustrated by Ronald Searle, is a shiny blue—making it pop on the sunny yellow cloth cover.
Here are a couple of books where the title drops out, but the jacket image remains:
House of Dolls (2010), by Francesca Lea Block, illustrated by Barbara McClintock
The Leaf Men, by William Joyce (1996)
And then, there's the unexpected:
May the Stars Drip Down (2014), by Jeremy Chatelain, illustrated by Nikki McClure, has a partial jacket, reminiscent of clouds.
Here are some more undercover delights, in no particular order:
hello! hello! (2012) by Matthew Cordell
Don't Lick the Dog (2009) by Wendy Wahman
The Crows of Pearblossom (2011) by Aldous Huxley, illustrated by Sophie Blackall
For more glimpses of what lies beneath, be sure and check out Travis Jonker's 100 Scope Notes blog posts featuring a sampling of covers from 2013 and 2015:
Thanks, friends! See you next time!
Next up: October 21st—Whatsit Jennifer K. Mann talks virtual mentors!