Thursday, March 27, 2008
BTT: Judging a Book By Its Cover
While acknowledging that we can’t judge books by their covers, how much does the design of a book affect your reading enjoyment? Hardcover vs. softcover? Trade paperback vs. mass market paperback? Font? Illustrations? Etc.?
Which one would you want to read? If you were going to Narnia for the first time that is...
Various covers I've "discovered" via google mostly. As you can see, they range in quality. Some quite appealing. Others not so much. Some are very dated. Others timeless. Some choose to focus on one aspect of the novel. Some go for a general mood. Some depict certain scenes. Others don't. Starting at the top, what I like about Wiesner's is that it shows the girls' (Susan and Lucy) devotion to Aslan. I believe that this is the 'resurrection' scene. They have just discovered that he isn't dead--he's alive. And so they are weeping with joy. The next one shows that Aslan is not a TAME lion at all. Very fierce. The third, it is really hard. I'm assuming that that it is the witch in the background. It looks like she is holding a knife in one hand. So that cover is focusing on the sacrifice scene. The fourth is focusing on the witch and her wolves. The fifth which is my favorite, quite honestly, is focusing on Mr. Tumnus and the wintry scene in which he and Lucy meet. Notice the packages. I love that scene in the movie by the way. The next focuses on the evil witch. The harshness of the environment. The cruelty of the battle between good and evil. The next is an "abridged" version. I've never seen it, but the cover doesn't thrill me. It's just a tame, easy-going, nonviolent, nonthreatening cover. What it does have going for it is that it shows all the main characters: Aslan, witch, Lucy, Susan, Edmund, and Peter. The next is a cover of a play. This is another post-resurrection cover. This is when the two girls are riding on Aslan to join the others in battle. The next is a UK version, I believe. This one shows the three children (Peter, Susan, Lucy) with Aslan. Edmund is missing as he is with the queen. The children are showing off their presents from Father Christmas. The next is a movie tie-in version for the BBC production. The next is another adaptation. I really don't have much to say about that lion's appearance. The next is the version I remember from childhood. We bought our copies used. Ugly it may be, but it does show the children--all four children--entering in the wardrobe drawers--though I doubt they'd be that yellow--and finding a strange winter forest. The next is the 'original' cover by Baynes. This would be another post-resurrection scene. Lucy and Susan are dancing round Aslan and it's spring. I don't love it or hate it in particular. I just don't think it's that captivating. The last one is one I hadn't seen before. It depicts three children. So it would be before Edmund's redemption. Aslan is looking pretty fierce despite the geekiness of the children. Notice how everyone's hair looks bad.