Friday Faceoff – Wee Sleekit, Cow’rin, Timorous, Beastie


This meme was started by Books by Proxy, whose fabulous idea was to compare UK and US book covers and decide which is we prefer. This week we are looking at covers featuring wee beasties… I have chosen The Crystal Prison – Book 3 of the The Deptford Mice Trilogy by Robin Jarvis, one of my daughter’s favourite readers when she was a schoolgirl, a lifetime ago…



This version was produced by Chronicle Books in 2002 and shows the full menace of the wicked rat Jupiter who has been terrorising those poor mice…



This version produced by Acorn Digital Press in 2012 is closest to the edition Rebecca owned back in the  early 1990s and is a striking image of the poor little mouse about to pounced on, with those outstretched claws poised to attack… This is my favourite offering. I love the clever perspective and there is a real sense of menace, while the slightly cartoon drawing gives a clue that this is a children’s book.



I can’t find any details about the date and origin of this cover, but I think it must be a fairly modern edition and my guess would be that it was British, with the corruscating light flickering across the cover and not a mouse or rat in sight. Eye-catching and attractive though it is, it doesn’t give a real feel of the flavour of the story in any way, other than it is fantasy.


13 responses »

  1. Interesting to see how different these are, with the first cover focusing on the villain and the second one more on the mice and the danger. Although I really wonder what happened with the third one as it has no rat or mice or anything animal on it, just a symbol. It almost looks more like a fantasy/ magic book.

    • Yes, it was one reason why I chose this particular book – the range of approaches to the cover design caught my attention and I was curious to know what other folks thought about it… Thank you for taking the time to comment, Lola:)

  2. I agree with your choice. The other two seem to cater to different age groups: the third for grownups so they can “sneak” a read with a kid’s book, and the first cover for older kids. The middle cover seems best geared for the intended audience.

    • Of course! I’ve been rather puzzled at the last cover – but you’re absolutely right… It was probably designed for the adult market who didn’t want to be seen reading a children’s book, especially as this series was first published before Harry Potter changed everything.

      • Indeed! I recall that being a big to-do over Harry Potter: multiple editions were published so adults could be “seen” reading the books. Rather sad this has to be the norm now; I can’t imagine how much that costs, to make multiple cover designs for the same novel.

      • I think this is now less of an issue, as when people are reading ebooks no one knows what you are reading, anyhow. Which is why ‘Fifty Shades’ managed to do so well, apparently…

  3. I love the second one. I love the little mouse! The first one is good too but I’m drawn to the second one more. The last one has a Hunger Games feel to it and nothing that indicates it’s about mice

  4. I immediately preferred the second – I just think the expression on the face of the mouse is brilliant and it does give immediately the impression that this is a children’s book.
    Lynn 😀

  5. I’d pick the second as my preference too. While the first one is beautiful, to me it gives a more adult-like feeling, while the third one… well, it feels a bit of a sloppy rushed work, doesn’t it?

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