I read the version on the right with my son. It’s his favourite Ibbotson novel, but I don’t think he’d have taken to the one on the left quite so quickly. (There is something about a harpy that just calls out to boys.)
I read the one on the left. I loved it, but I might have loved the one on the right just as much. Hard to say. The cat is certainly cute.
In all these cases of alternative casings, each cover captures something essential to the book — the mood or setting or character or plot — but each captures a different bit of the book’s essence. So two equally well-designed versions might appeal to different readers.
Book designers have vital but thankless jobs. The writer’s acknowledgment copy is due months before we see the design, so we never acknowledge the designer. And even much later, designers often remain anonymous. “Our designer did a fabulous job,” an editor will write. “Please thank your designer for the incredible cover,” a writer will reply.
Who are these talented never-named people? I still don’t know. But I owe them a great deal of thanks. Because just look at the covers for my two books coming out this fall!
How happy I am that we judge books by their covers, at least in these cases. (Although the contents aren’t half-bad, either – but these covers will ensure that someone gives the contents a chance. Thanks!)
BTW, as always, though these links lead to Amazon, you can order any of these titles from your local independent bookstore. Happy reading.