100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Unfortunate Covers (#1)

In my job as a school librarian, I occasionally run into books with unfortunate covers. By “unfortunate” I mean this: an otherwise solid book is saddled with cover art that does nothing for its kid appeal. You just know that no matter how hard you try to recommend it to a student, they’re gonna take one look at that cover, quietly put it back on the shelf and begin to think you’re nuts. In an effort to bring these transgressions to light, I present to you the first in a series of these unfortunate covers:


1982 Dell Yearling paperback edition. I dare you to take one look at this cover and not be at least a little creeped out. For me, its the facial expressions that do it. Thankfully “Superfudge” has undergone a few makeovers since this one.

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 scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Where to start, so many, so little time . . .

  2. Funny, cheeky, relevant and a bit sad for the writer or publisher…
    I’m recommending this post to all members of IPNE (Independent Publishers of New England).
    Robert McCarty
    Barking Planet Productions


  1. […] This one was difficult to include in the ongoing Unfortunate Covers series (click here for #1 and #2), but unfortunate it seems to be – at least in the eyes of some of the students I work […]

  2. […] things movin’! Just for fun, I even threw in a book that was recently bestowed upon with Unfortunate Cover status. It’s the original folks, and sure to be a collectors item. Collectors everywhere are […]

  3. […] a look at previous Unfortunate Covers. #1, #2, […]

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  5. […] Covers: The good, the bad, and the ugly People have been talking a lot about cover art lately, what with all the Best-Of Lists floating around this time of year. When it comes to cover art, I’ve found that people are shockingly opinionated. Maybe you can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can still judge the cover. Sometimes cover controversy is about larger issues, but more often than not it’s pure aesthetics: what looks good, what looks really bad? […]