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

Unfortunate Covers (#8)

It’s been a little bit since our last Unfortunate Cover, so take a look at past picks if you need your memory jogged: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7.

Our latest entry into the series is so unappealing, it almost doesn’t deserve comment. Almost! One of the schools where I work is putting on a used book sale later this month, and students have been encouraged to bring in donations. When I saw this one come in, I knew that it would repel readers far and wide:

img 2266 Unfortunate Covers (#8)

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

This is certainly unfortunate. If you’ve been looking for a way to inspire someone to not read Lewis Carroll’s classic, place this anywhere in their field of vision. But more offensive than the 2 for $1 “sticker” (that is actually part of the cover), more disturbing than the stiff, dated, oil painting of the main characters is the fact that Alice kinda looks like a 30 year old dude with a wig. Let’s take a closer look:

img 2268 Unfortunate Covers (#8)

Let me know if I’m wrong about this one.

share save 171 16 Unfortunate Covers (#8)
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. Ms. Yingling says:

    Oh, these are not so bad. I have some that are REALLY unfortunate. Or rather, I had. Covers were really appalling in the 80s and 90s, and thankfully have improved a LOT. Thanks for the laugh!

  2. Becky says:

    There’s something very manly about this Alice. I noticed it right off.

  3. Emily says:

    Oh, no, you’re definitely right on this one. The mad hatter also looks extraordinarily creepy, and not in a good way.

  4. Sadako says:

    Agree, this is wrong.

    Also, I always thought the March Hare was kind of brownish. But he’s white on this cover. Which makes me confuse him with the White Rabbit!

  5. Appears to be a poorly costumed/set designed, junior high self-done drama class production!

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I want to put this up on my wall.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Possibly on my boyfriend’s side of the bedroom, out of jealousy at how much more easily he falls asleep than I do. This will fix that!

  8. Scope Notes says:

    I agree that covers as a whole are better than when this one came out. It’s funny to think that (in a decade or two) we’ll cringe at the covers of 2009. Odd how tastes change over time.

  9. Scope Notes says:

    Agreed. It’s kinda like the artist got a couple of odd friends to pose awkwardly for a few hours while she/he painted them. I wholeheartedly approve of the wonderfully bad results.

  10. Scope Notes says:

    It took me a second, but it seems to be pretty clear – something isn’t right with Alice.

  11. Scope Notes says:

    Will it be in your uninvited guestroom?


  1. [...] #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8. [...]

Speak Your Mind