Search on ....
Subscribe to SLJ
100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Unfortunate Covers (#6)

(Take a look at previous Unfortunate Covers. #1, #2, #3, #4, #5)

While I was going through the fiction shelves the other day, I came across a book cover that I’d seen years ago, but had forgotten all about. This, the sixth entry into the ongoing Unfortunate Covers series is the first title that I might be inclined to call “awesomely unfortunate”.

Before I get ahead of myself, let’s take a look:

dcarl1 Unfortunate Covers (#6)

Dancing Carl” by Gary Paulsen. An unrelated comment: don’t you hate it when the barcode is covering the title? Rest assured, this happened well before my watch. Keep those titles barcode free, I say. Anyway, what you have here is an unfortunate cover. A solid book besotted with a cover that isn’t upping the shelf appeal. A close up:

 Unfortunate Covers (#6)

I like how Carl is shown doing his little hand raise thing. Personally I like to think of it as Carl imploring the reader to “Get up out ‘cha seat and dance, like me!”

Click here to take a look at the most recent “Dancing Carl” cover.

On a side note, this unfortunate cover struck me as oddly similar to another famous title:

chroniclesnarnia Unfortunate Covers (#6)

The perspective, the trees, the wintery night time setting, the use of the color yellow – similarities abound.

Click here to read a great post at Becky’s Book Reviews about this and other Narnia covers.

share save 171 16 Unfortunate Covers (#6)
About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. blbooks says:

    Oh how familiar that Narnia cover is. :) Those are the unfortunate covers of the Narnia books when I first discovered them way back when.

  2. Scope Notes says:

    I was recalling your post on those Narnia covers when I noticed the similarities, but I couldn’t find it when I searched. If you have the link to that post handy, I can add it in!

  3. Becky says:


  1. [...] Unfortunate Cover, so take a look at past picks if you need your memory jogged: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, [...]

Speak Your Mind