100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Award Seal as Design Element: A Cover First?

Today I was checking out upcoming releases using Edelweiss (a great place to go for publisher catalogs y’all) when I came across a book that was released back in September – the paperback edition of Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston. If you remember, the original cover made an impression on me.

But this new design? It may just be a world’s first.

How is it unique? Take a look:

That’s right, the awards it has won (E.B. White, Silver Birch) have been incorporated into the cover illustration as balloons held by the main character, Katrina Katrell. Very cool.

Now a question for the masses (this includes, of course Peter from Collecting Children’s Books) – is this the first book you’ve seen do such a thing?

*Update* Author Robert Paul Weston talks a bit about the cover on his blog. Click here to read.

*Update* In the comments, Al uncovered another example of award seal  with The Brain Finds a Leg by Martin Chatterton (with the Junior Library Guild selection seal). Take a look:

I see this as more of a particular placement than incorporating the seal into the cover artwork, but it is certainly planned. Any others you know of?

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. So how fast did they turn this out? Was the design waiting in the wings just in case? Interesting.

    • Well, The E.B. White finalists were released in April, and the winner was announced in May – the Silver Birch also was declared in May. Seeing as how this cover came out in September, I think it’s safe to assume this design wasn’t waiting in the wings, but was just a clever response to the awards.

    • Check out THE BRAIN FINDS A LEG cover…

      • Ah-ha! I knew there had to be other examples of this. Thanks for sending it my way – I’ll add it to the post

  2. It didn’t win an award, but Melanie Watt’s first Chester book, well, Chester, had an outline drawn on the cover for future award placement. I found that the first of many hilarious moments.


  3. Genius. Simply genius.


  1. […] award stickers on books (visit the ALA store if you need some) I love a good medal placement post. I’ve talked about the topic in the past. Bottom Shelf books took it to the extreme last year. And yesterday Tales of an Elementary School […]