The Cover Wars: Informational Picturebooks

coverwars3 Technically, not all of these are information picturebooks, but they do have communicating new information as a primary goal. Here they are:

Everyone Poops

Steph: Well, it’s true! This makes me giggle uncontrollably and I guess that’s a good thing. I also can’t help but think that (despite my adult brain) the apple is going to poop too. Of course though, the baudy (body?) humour just compels me to pick this up and read through it. I just have to!

Nafiza: This amuses me. I like the expression on the kid’s faces and I like the positions of the animals and yes, like Stephie, I, too, think that the apple is going to poop too. Which makes me giggle as well. I’m really just 12.

Yash: Oh wow. First, there is a book about everyone pooping. Secondly, someone’s job was to sit down and dream up possible covers for a book about pooping. And I have to say, the result is wonderful. I’ve never experienced insta-love with a book (or, like, ever) but I feel it now. Definitely something I would pick up.


Steph: Just the one horse? Which one? The little one? The big one? I have to say that again, I laugh uncontrollably at this cover because of the title, “Horse” – yup, it’s a horse. OK, but seriously, the art is pretty? Realistic? But, when I think information books, and considering the attempt this art makes to look real, why not just use a photo? Especially if you are going to be so literal that you call this book… Horse. >.>; I can’t, I just can’t not laugh.

Nafiza: Horses are beautiful but the placement of the foal and the mother is just a bit odd. Also, it irritates me that the title is Horse but there are two Horses pictured. I’m just being nitpicky.

Yash: HORSES!!! I almost wish they used this Gingerhaze comic for the cover- it would make me laugh, and I’d pick it up only to be assaulted by real pictures of real horses and I wouldn’t learn a thing because look at how majestic! Yeah, I like my version better. I basically see only kids who are already in love with horses picking this one up- which is probably a larger market than I expect.

About Crustaceans Jkt/PLC

Steph: OK, I can get behind this one – it just comes across as more serious. I realize that there is only one ocean depicted and the title is Oceans but for some reason it’s not as hilarious as Horse (still giggling). I like the art on this one, it could be a little more… lively? It seems very still and placid for an ocean teeming with life. I would like to see more than just water and dolphins, I realize that dolphins catch kids’ attention but the background image could have been coral or a different kind of fish or something. ^_^

Nafiza: I don’t like the framing and the blue box thing going on. As Stephie said, it seems a tad bit uninviting. The colours, also, are so muted and considering that the titles are oceans, I think I’d have preferred to see something under water rather than just a surface view of it.

Yash: *hiss* Oceans. Not good for people like me. Perhaps that is a good reason for me to pick this one up. They say knowledge alleviates ignorant fear, so it’s appropriate for me. (I am not a fan of the water. Yes. I live in Vancouver. What.) I do like some sea creatures. As long as they aren’t goblin sharks. Oh no. Does this book have a chapter on goblin sharks?? *cowers* Maybe I can’t handle this book, you guys. And the muted colours don’t help. It’s like a horror movie’s colouring.

Open Wide

Steph: I hate dentists. I just hate them and their offices and their little tools and their perfect teeth. The brown dentist guy with his creepy smile on this cover is scaring me silly. I might read this to see if it would have (before I was scarred forever by dentists) soothed my fears and I might use it to manipulate children into going to the dentist if it is good. But that guy on the cover… and the weird sports teeth *shudders* and the title, almost sing-songing “Open Wiiiiiiiide” before the horror. I’m not sure it’s gonna work for me, I think I’m too terrified.

Nafiza: True story, I was all like “this is adorable” and then I realized that this is actually talking about dentists and that pushed the brake on all those “aww” feelings I had been having. So yeah, it looks cute but I don’t think it’s going to convince any kid. Seriously.

Yash: Haha! I think this is a great book to have at a dentist’s office. Actually, if I were taking a child to the dentist I’d either want a book like this that deals with dentist related fears head-on, or like something that completely distract them like Harry Potter. I really like the art and the colours used in the cover. They had the opportunity to go very clinical with neat, boring colours and they didn’t. That, to me, is encouraging. I’d flip through this.

tell me tree

Steph: Redeeming The Giving Tree? What I worry about is that the trees will be explored in terms of humans, basically that this book will be anthropocentric. The cover has one tree and a bunch of kids (not a huge fan of the illustration of the people, very Family Circus or something, old looking?). I worry that the trees will only be discussed in terms of their usefulness to humans. What won’t be discussed is their intrinsic value, and their value to the whole planet (not just humans), what unique and interesting thing does each tree do? What ecosystems they are part of etc.? What other creatures rely on them? I would read it, but that’s because it’s within my realm of interest, I’m incredibly wary and sceptical though.

Nafiza: Once again, I feel like this wouldn’t be too attractive to kids. The art is not to my taste but more than that I feel as though the focus is on the kids and not on the trees which is what the subject is all about.

Yash: So, the title kind of implies that maybe the tree will answer back and I like that. I like the artwork they used for the leaves and the pines around the borders of the cover and I hope there’s more of that in the book. And I’d pick it up just to see if the entire book is basically the trees talking about themselves and each other. It could be fun.

The Day it Rained Hearts

Steph: What information am I getting out of this? It doesn’t really rain hearts… do we learn about the weather? It looks adorable, and it looks very valentines… but not so informative.

Nafiza: Hmm. Yeah. No. Unless it’s candy and then I’m all for falling chocolate.

Yash: Maybe this cover was meant to be in a different Cover Wars? Is it actually informational? In any case, no, this isn’t a book I’d pick up. I almost wish this were a picturebook about Welcome to Night Vale because even with the same title, this has the potential to be far more interesting. *cough-real-hearts-cough* Completely inappropriate for kids, of course, but definitely more interesting. So, my secret hope for this one is that it will be a book about different kinds of romances, sexualities, etc. My understanding is that it’s just a book about Valentine’s Day. Am I wrong? Should I check Goodreads now … ?

Under the Ground

Steph: Trains! Underground trains! Cool. My commuter heart enjoys this already, though of course I worry about what kind of information we’re getting. But I do like these illustrations – they are a little… Richard Scary? But I like it. I also like the topic, I think it’s very contemporary, and I can see that the environment will be considered (Hurrah!) The font doesn’t really work for me, however, it is a little too whimsical for the kinds of facts I’d like to see between the covers, and that makes me wary that there will be a reliance on plot as opposed to info. I’d look through it however.

Nafiza: I like this. The bright colours, the composition and I don’t mind the font either. I like the placement of the people and I’d flip through this to see what was on the inside.

Yash: Oooh! I love this! I’d definitely read this and maybe even send it to people who, like me, rely heavily on public transit. It’s a nice array of people … but do they all look the same to anyone? City folk don’t look like that. At least, not wherever I’ve lived. Oh well. The colours are fun, the details (especially with the little creatures) are good, and like Steph, I’m hoping this isn’t plot driven.