100 Scope Notes
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Unfortunate Covers (#11)

Sometimes a cover doesn’t match the tone of the book it’s wrapped around. Such is the case of our most recent Unfortunate Cover candidate:


Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The world’s most listless treasure hunt. I feel like the artist was working with some models who weren’t that into it.

Cover Artist: “Alright, we need some action here. Bend forward a bit, and you, boy, robotically raise your arm like you’re moving.”


“Okay guys, Treasure Island is a ripping adventure story. Show me an expression like you’re just about to find a chest full of gold!”


“Never mind.”

Click the links below to read previous Unfortunate Covers posts:

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10.

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. Excellent. I wanted one more close up.

    And is that a brachiosaurus hiding the background?

  2. Scope Notes says:

    I’m not seeing it – man if they slipped a dinosaur into this cover and I didn’t catch it, I’m gonna be upset.

  3. On a similar tricorns-and-knickers theme, I’d like to nominate the early 90’s(?) Laurel Leaf edition of Johnny Tremain, which comes complete with stiff poses, impossible perspective, and bonus ghostly redcoat.

  4. Scope Notes says:

    I will be looking into the Johnny Tremain you speak of – thanks for the tip!

  5. Sorry Cap’n forgot about your peg-leg.


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