100 Scope Notes
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Covering the Newbery (#11): Waterless Mountain

Another Monday, another Newbery cover gets redone. I’m attempting to freshen up each and every Newbery winner, you see, starting at the start and working my way up to modern times. How did things turn out this go-round? Let’s have a look…

1932: Waterless Mountain by Laura Adams Armer

Early Cover:

My Redo:

Side by Side:

Verdict: It looks updated, but still could use a bit of excitement I think. What say you?

Read Previous Covering the Newbery Posts:

1931: The Cat Who Went to Heaven

1930: Hitty, Her First Hundred Years

1929: The Trumpeter of Krakow

1928: Gay-Neck: The Story of a Pigeon

1927: Smoky, the Cowhorse by Will James

1926: Shen of the Sea by Arthur Bowie Chrisman

1925: Tales from Silver Lands by Charles J. Finger

1924: The Dark Frigate by Charles Boardman Hawes

1923: The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting

1922: The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem Van Loon

(Source Image: “iPhoneography: Mt. M” http://www.flickr.com/photos/dirkdallas/5277637393/)

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. Nice re-do! Definitely better color scheme and more updated font — but still needs that touch of the human element on the cover, I think. In any case, am intrigued enough to judge the book by it’s cover!

  2. This is my favorite so far. But I agree it’s missing a little something. Is it cheating to add a meteor rocketing down to earth? Yes? Sigh.

    • Ha – a good ol’ meteor would look nice. If a lost chapter is ever found with said flying object, I’ll be all over it.

  3. Having the original first edition (first printing) of this book, I know how tired the original cover is. This is better, but the re-do does need something. It is too empty and has no drama, no hint of conflict, no idea of character, no real setting intrigue/interest.

    On another topic:

    Snow day?

  4. Granted the cover could use a little more excitement, but to be fair, so could the book itself. I remember reading this one when I was determined to get through all the Newberys and words like “static” come to mind. This was just “Dobry” set on a mountain, for crying out loud (note: I can’t wait until you do “Dobry”).

  5. I like the new cover – especially the colors – but the mountains need to be plateaus, from the Southwest. Something a bit more distinctive; your new cover looks like it might just as well be Australia as New Mexico (or was it set in Arizona?).

    I’m actually reading “Waterless Mountain” right now, and enjoying (more than a few of the older Newbery winners, anyway) in a very low-key kind of way. I can’t imagine many kids that I know enjoying it, though.