Unfortunate Covers (#15)
Not all old books have Unfortunate Covers. There are some specific requirements:
1. The book must be good. If the book is bad and the cover is bad, you get what’s referred to as an Accurate Cover (which is not nearly as fun to discuss).
2. The book must employ cover elements that are instantly recognized in 2010 as being dated, hokey, or unusually uninteresting.
3. There should be a bit of shame in pointing out that this well-written book has a cover that is not working for today’s kids.
It is a combination of these three guidelines that bring us to today, and the latest addition to the Unfortunate Cover club:
Shadow of a Bull by Maia Wojciechowska.
The way I see it, there are two elements working against this one. First, the color. Mustard has it hard these days. It doesn’t help that one of the most well-known pop culture outcasts of our times, The Office’s Dwight Schrute, famously sports the same hue.
Second, the style of artwork. While the bull and matador are depicted in an interesting, abstract style, from a distance there’s a certain “this book may have been used to squash a bug” quality that may turn young readers away. Here’s hoping they still give it a shot.
I am pleased to see that this is a cover that has been updated recently. Click here to take a look.
Check out past Unfortunate 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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