The Covers: More Illustrations


More illustrated covers!


Janet: At the risk of being too literal (always a risk with me, apparently), that is not what bear’s paws look like. Not from my experience – and I have seen bears, both alive and at a semi-respectable distance, and dead (at a range that would likely spell my immediate demise if it were not the bear who was dead, instead, fortunately for me).

Steph: Haha, despite the lack of verity in the depiction of the ‘bear paws’ I enjoy the colours and the eye-catching nature of this cover. I have no idea what it’ll be about, I think it’ll probably have a good sense of humour – anyone who finds signage funny is a-ok in my books. The setting will be in nature and that setting will play a role in the storytelling, which I always greatly enjoy. I would read the back. Yup. I just would.

Yash: Okay, so the title has bears in it, and the cover has bear paws in it, and as a bonus, there is a substantial amount of yellow. I am in. I predict that it would be a good book to read while travelling. Also, with a cover like that, expect to make fun conversation with fellow frequent flyers!

Nafiza: I like the playfulness of the cover. It’s very lighthearted and cheerful. Enough at least to make me check out the back.


Janet: The title leaves me ambivalent – a snicker of magic? Who is laughing so magically? Is this a malicious snicker? – but the ice cream cone, well… if you have magic, is ice cream really at the top of the list of things that absorb your attention? Just a little too cartoony for me.

Steph: This one is ok. I have never had purple ice cream… I’m pretty sure I haven’t anyway, and that’s what this cover makes me think of – and maybe that’s Janet’s fault for pointing out the unrealistic bear paws – but purple, is that a realistic ice cream colour? Anyway, it’s pretty cartoony yes, and I wonder at the title and how it’s supposed to work with the illustration here. Is it referencing Snickers the chocolate bar? Is the ice cream magical (I mean, it’s always a little magical because it’s delicious), but, like, literally magical? I dunno. I just don’t know. It looks like it might be funny (again because of the snicker?) so… maybe? If Yash told me to read I would. <3s to Yash.

Yash: Yeah. I’d read this one. And not just the back. I’d read all of it. Ice cream, S/snickers, magic, and a store called Midnight Gulps- it’s like this illustrator chose me as the target audience. I am the chosen one! Steph- stay tuned for a review someday!

Nafiza: I dunno, the art doesn’t do anything for me. I mean, I like the ice cream (who doesn’t, apart from the lactose intolerant, that is) but it’s a bit too cartoony for my taste. However, I would read the back because I am all about the fluff these days. Bring on the fluff!


Janet: The unknown context of these all four stars is enough to make me read the back. In this case the bakery/cityscape works for me. The cover suggests to me that the girl, who is studying or writing hard, may be insignificant or largely absorbed by the bakery, but dreams big, works hard, and will change the city. Oh wait, is that the Statue of Liberty? Hm. I’d thought this was possibly an European town, not New York. My mistake – and although I prefer small towns to the Big Apple, this cover still looks good.

Steph: Someone was hungry when they put this cover wars selection together. So far we have bear paws, ice cream and baked goods, and darn-it now I’m hungry. This cover is whimsical and cute, I like the illustration very much. The girl is very Matilda-esque which is always a character-type I am drawn too. I can safely say that the Statue of Liberty is not in the middle of New York, but I guess the artist wanted to give us a sense of location immediately? I don’t know that this cover has much of a Wow-factor, but I think it’s charming enough with an intriguingly fantastical enough title that I’d read the back.

Yash: Steph said “Matilda-esque” and now I can’t un-see it! That description only serves to make me love the girl more. And just look at those pastries! Also, unlike Janet (sorry, Janet!), for a second I was worried that it was going to be another severely romanticized story about Paris, but no, it’s New York! I can get on board with that. I love this cover. It doesn’t have too much going on, but it gives us enough that we could just start eating reading the book instead of the summary.

Nafiza: I was so distracted by the pastries I didn’t even notice the cityscape and I think that adds another layer to the already wonderfully composed cover. The colours are soft and inviting and the table set for tea or just tempt those with no self control (me) so yeah, I’d read this one. It’s adorable.


Janet: Curious concentration of light and shadow. I like how the dandelion clocks become star-like lamps, lighting a path for the girl and her dog. At this resolution, it looks like she’s wearing her nightgown, which is a little confusing because it seems to be daytime. Still: I like the colours, I like the light-and-shadowplay, I like the birds, I like the girl and dog running, and I like the overall scenery (house, sandy hill, ocean, sky). I think it would appeal more if the illustrative style didn’t try so hard to look “real” – if it’s cartoony or animated, let it look like it is! – but I would read the back for sure.

Steph: The moon is talking? That’s awesome! A girl and her dog adventure in the night-time story is always something I’m up for! The illustration is really nice, I like it and I think it nicely points out that this story will take place in the real world – where magic does exist 😉 I’d read the back.

Yash: Oops, I forgot to write about this one! Well, it kind of reminds me of Adam Rex’s picturebook MoondayBut it also has a Skellig kind of feel. Is it magic realism? Or straight up fantasy? I kinda want to know.

Nafiza: I like covers with movement in them and this cover looks like it captured the girl while she was running in the moonlight (I have done that before, only I was screaming at the top of my lungs). It’s pretty and evokes a certain nostalgia in me. I’d read the back and then the book.


Janet: I’m kind of confused by what is happening there – what the librarian is holding, for example (unless that is her hand? Edwarda Stabbyhand?). I’m not crazy about ninjas, librarian or otherwise, and probably wouldn’t read it, unless the back persuades me otherwise.

Steph: I think it’s supposed to be a sword that she is holding – a ninja sword! Hyah! Well, the audience is clearly middle grade, it’s going to be a fun silly journey to save the library or something. It’d be a quick read and it might be really funny (or just a little funny, depends). I might read the back.

Yash: I love the title and the colour scheme but I have to say … the art style does not do it for me. I’d have to ask Steph about the back. Also, someone please assure me that the book doesn’t mean “ninjas” in a Hollywood-esque white-washed way? But … I still love the title. Ugh. I feel conflicted about this.

Nafiza: On the one hand, I totally love the library setting, on the other, I dislike the art and the colour scheme or mostly just the grey characters. I would have preferred them to be in colour or in any other colour except the one they are in now. Boo.


Janet: Tangled, anyone? I sincerely hope that this is about a girl who goes to a school to learn charmwork, not to learn to be charming. At the moment, the cover is a bit too cutsey for my taste… although I do like the sunlight, greenery, forest path, wood sign, and dandelion clock. And her evident trepidation, practical clothes, and bare feet. If only the illustrative style didn’t try so hard to look “real”! A little more of the nice old-fashioned I’m-illustrated-and-don’t-pretend-to-be-otherwise would add more, well, charm.

Steph: I like this – I’m getting a Little Red Riding Hood feel, mixed with all those magical boarding school stories. I like the natural setting, but I’m always a little weary when it looks like ‘natural magic’ is what we are going to be portraying, a joining with the earth to protect it, or a using of nature to do magic, kind of thing is not really my ideal representation of nature – but then, I’d read it to criticize it! I like the cover though, to bring me back into focus, I think the illustration works well to create the normal person thrust into the animated (or, in this case, magical) world feel. So, Janet, I’m getting more of an Enchanted feel, as opposed to Tangled. 

Yash: The art is beautiful. (Maybe a bit too beautiful for me?) But I can see how this would appeal to young readers. And I like the implication of the title. It could mean some kind of finishing school or a school for magic? Maybe? (I am trying to find something that would interest the child in me. Perhaps I am trying too hard. I am not good at giving a critical review of these covers, am I? Bah.)

Nafiza: I agree with Yash, this might be a bit too beautiful for me. It has a certain charm to it (hur, see what I did there?) and I would read the back but the cover is not one I would coo over and embarrass myself and the person I was shopping with.