Judging Books by Their Covers

Cover of the week: The Fox & The Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith

9781846148507This weeks cover was chosen by Lara at Harefield Library. She says

The book jumped out at me as the cover was so beautiful, almost fairytale-like. Then when you jump inside the book the pages inside are just as beautifully illustrated. The pictures carry you away with the story as much as the words do.

Designer Coralie Bickford-Smith made her name designing Penguin Classics covers. This book is her first and plays homage to the designs of William Morris and the Poems of William Blake. The book is illustrated with a very simple colour palette (five colours were used in total) using styles that come straight from Morris wallpaper designs. The beautiful printed designs create a beautiful object that can be enjoyed by adults and children.

I love the idea of a picture book for adults. I think that images can make stories more wonderful and inspire the imagination. A few weeks ago I looked at Brian Selznick’s Wonder Struck, another book that is full of fascinating images. When a book is illustrated in such a way it becomes more than just a book, and I love that about these books.

Going back to Bickford-Smith’s routes at Penguin publishing we can find the beginnings of cover design. Back in the 1970’s Penguin began to use artists to design a series of covers for their series. These books marked the beginning of the mass market paperback, affordable books for everyone. These books also became collectable and performed as tools to bring modern art into everyone’s homes. Find out more about the history of Penguin book covers here.

To view images of the inside of the book together with notes from the author follow this link

For more information about the book see this article.

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