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:

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:

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:

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.

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. 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. 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!


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