The Cover Wars: Even More Illustrated Ones

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Janet: What a lot is happening on this cover! To be succinct, it doesn’t catch my eye, but I wouldn’t be horrified if somebody told me to read this book.

Yash: I love the colour schemes and the title and I am pretty sure I would read it, but the cover does look more like an illustration for the inside of the book rather than an actual cover. Not that it dissuades me. So pretty!

Steph: GHOSTS! I want it. OK, the cover though it a little, well it’s pretty vague, I don’t know if those silhouettes are on a stage or trying to break into a haunted house or fighting or just talking and the beam on that flashlight doesn’t make physical sense. It’s a little cartoony which leads me to believe that the audience for this one is middle grade, and so it’ll be fun, there’ll be a little mystery and everything will work ou in the end. A perfect fluffy read. Bring on the fluff!

Nafiza: I’m a bit conflicted by this one because the cover is just too busy. I mean, too many things are happening and it’s not of those instances where the chaos is organized. I know that sounds weird but this just makes me wish for white paint. That said, I wouldn’t mind reading it because, well, ghosts.

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Janet: Hair in face, very skinny girl (although I suppose if she’s preteen it’s alright), indeterminate expression… Nope. The dog looks more real and appealing than anything else, and the dog isn’t even there. I would like to like this cover – the girl does look like she’s about to go do something worthwhile, after all – but it’s just not there. Maybe if she looked like she was actually thinking about something, instead of staring nobly into the distance?

Yash: Everything about this cover appeals to me … except the prairie/farmland setting. It’s not a setting I am usually attracted to. But since the rest of the cover is amazing, I will leave the summary to convince me. Also, oooh, ghost dog/wolf! Cute!

Steph: I kinda like it. The colours, the ghost wolf, the waves and the prairies, the hint that it will be the journey that is important to her really coming into her own identity. I am a fan of the noble stare, it’s difficult to think when you are staring so nobly. I’d read the back.

Nafiza: Everything Yash and Steph said. I do worry about cultural appropriation here but I could be wrong and I would read this to find out that I am hopefully wrong. I like the art style and I like the ghost dog.

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Janet: Rather confused by the title. The look of the paper dolls is unusual and noteworthy. The clothes and faces are nicely done as well. Probably not a book I’d pick up in the normal way of things (just not my style), but faced with it I’m interested enough to want to read the back, if only to get more information about the characters and story.

Yash: YELLOW! Also, nice art! A great font! And the paper dolls effect is intriguing. Even if the summary is crappy, I might give it a chapter or two to win me over.

Steph: One man guy… and two men on the cover. Is this an LGTBQ book? That’s the vibe I’m getting. That said, I do like the art, the puppet effect and the nice colours (yes, the yellow). But, I don’t know. What will happen in this book? Will it just be love? I might read the back.

Nafiza: This is indeed an LGBTQA book and I like the yellow as well. I don’t know it says about the characters that they are represented as dolls. Are they constructs of society’s expectations or did the designer simply think it would be cool to portray them like that and it has no deeper significance than that? I don’t know. I never will.

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Janet: Curious hybrid of the current super-real trend of design for fiction covers, and old olive-toned information book covers. I’d read the back to learn more of the premise, but I wouldn’t expect to want to read the book. Question: why is the girl wearing a skirt? I like skirts, but when it comes down to every single girl on the cover of a book wearing a skirt (unless she’s trying to look all tough and potentially violent)… Is there absolutely no other way to convey that one of the characters is a girl? I would also like to know why she is smaller than the boy. If he is older, that makes sense. If he isn’t, then they are (biologically) probably roughly the same height, or, if they’re nearing or entering puberty, she’s probably slightly taller. The way this cover is situated, she could be taking up less space because she is leading and thus slightly ahead, but the bend of her knee suggests that this is not the case, that in fact she is simply significantly shorter. I want to know if this is true or not.

Yash: It looks a bit … old? I don’t know if the style is like that on purpose or because that’s just the art style? It is beautiful, but like the first cover, it has a lot happening. On the flip side, I guess you could never get tired of looking at the cover- which is what you would ideally want, yes? My favourite part of the cover is the crow. I want to know more. I hope there’s magic involved. And a witch. With a gingerbread house? Okay, I am asking for a different story, I think …

Steph: Are they walking on the water? Their shoes are going to get all wet, and they probably forgot to pack an extra pair of socks. ^_^ Ok, this cover is alright, not my fave and I think with the amount of fantasy and magical realism out there it needs to stand out and be a little more specific. I do like all the animals, they look like they are real pasted into the art, which I like and which begs the question, “what kind of adventure is this?” I might read the back, but I don’t know that, if on a shelf with other’s like it, this one would stand out. Maybe?

Nafiza: Well. it is called Dreamwood so I don’t think it is too far-fetched to expect some kind of magic for if magic doesn’t appear in dreams, where does it? I don’t know. This is not really something that would attract me simply because it feels like a surviving in the wild story and I would just probably not if I were in the wild. I’d be the one eaten first by bears.

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Janet: Um… That’s a very ugly villain. Although I kind of like his poncho-cloak thing. Okay. The cover is rather neat, but that central footless figure (yes, I can tell that his feet are hidden beneath those animal-skin pants) draws the eye so that it is hard to look at the rest of the cover for long. And I think he’s distractingly ugly, probably evil, and I don’t want to look at him.

Yash: There are three different styles, I think, happening here. They don’t completely mesh together in my opinion, but I am a fan of antler guy and the mystical looking border. It’s giving off a Princess Mononoke vibe to me. I’d read the back at least!

Steph: He’s really really tall… are we sure that those are pants? I mean what if he is half bear? I kinda like it – but I would be weary of what kind of magic this wizard is actually doing. He looks a little shaman-y but he is being called a wizard, how many different things (besides art styles) are going to be meshed together? Will it be cohesive? Will it be believable? Will it misrepresent multiple cultures and beliefs?  I will read the back just to make sure it’s not incredibly offensive.

Nafiza: I’m going to be reading this soon and I shall tell you, Steph. Haha. I like it. I like the colour scheme and the antler guy and I really do wonder what it is all about. Hmmmm.