For today’s Picture Book Month Celebration, I’m focusing on weekend reading. After a hectic week, and maybe even a hectic weekend ahead, I like to think about the “down” moments–quiet times and places to settle into a beautiful book. I’m already scanning our bookshelves, finding ones that pop into my mind’s eye. I’ll be reading with the grandkids… so, I head over to the book stack and pull out their favorites.
But, wait! What makes a favorite? Do you judge a book by it’s cover? I thought I’d hone in on book cover elements that seem to attract the discerning eyes of young readers and the adult buyers who select them.
What’s on a Cover?
I really like what author Shari Faden Donahue writes in “Children’s Picture Books” about book covers. “An attention grabbing cover is critical… because 82% of all children’s picture book consumers are women. The key to an effective cover is an intriguing blend of illustration and text — with a component of feminine appeal. Elements that people find most appealing in a cover include:
- Special effects (such as embossing)
- Characterizing illustration
- Overall design components
As the illustrator, I spent several years creating the cover and interior illustrations. Because I was new at it, every aspect of creativity was a challenge, and I made many mistakes along the way. I eventually worked with a professional book designer to help make the whole book as good as it could be.
I wanted to share it here, not to unabashedly promote the book, but in hopes of follow up posts about what I’ve learned about book covers that may be of interest to you as a reader, parent, educator, author and illustrator. Maybe one day you’ll search for Sunbelievable to inhabit your quiet reading place and enter your world of imagination.
Enjoy time-out for reading this weekend! And stay tuned for tips on making great book covers!