Just My Size: Favored Dimensions of Picture Book Makers
I always notice bookmakers who favor a particular size for their books – not just for a series, but for their careers.
How/why does this happen?
I imagine the scene goes something like this:
Bookmaker: (Walks in to the offices of a major publisher, finished picture book art under arm) I make books this big. (Slaps art down on desk of publishing head honcho) Deal.
Head Honcho: Yes ma’am/sir.¹
Here are some author/illustrators who tend² to think in specific dimensions:
Size: Vertical Golden Rectangle
Polacco is maybe the best example of a bookmaker sticking to a trim size.
Size: Cinematic Widescreen
Except for Sector 7, the Wies-man likes to go for the panoramic.
Size: Tall & Sturdy
All the No David books are the same size (naturally), but many of Shannon’s others share the same size as well.
Size: Tall and Lean
Agee’s books vary slightly, but most of them are on the tall and narrow side.
Size: Uniform Height, Varying Width
I didn’t realize Henkes could fit with this group until I started looking for this post. Henkes often uses the same height for his books, but with widths that range from square to more rectangular.
Size: The Godfather Rectangle
A leader in the uniform trim size game, Seuss preferred the tall rectangle for his picture books.
Size: Knock It Down, Stand It Up Rectangle
Did you notice this? All three books in the Hat trilogy are the exact same size, but with a different perspective (portrait, landscape, portrait).
Any others out there?
¹I know this isn’t how things go.
²I repeat: tend. I think all the folks on this list have broken out of their own mold at least once or twice.
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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 email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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