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. 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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