Friday Faceoff – In the bleak midwinter…


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 the theme is a snowscape, so I’ve chosen Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.


This is the cover produced by Reagan Arthur Books in February 2012 and frankly, I don’t know what they were thinking. It is pretty enough – indeed, looks appropriate for a cute childen’s tale. But this book is nothing of the sort – it is a wonderful portrait of survival in a hostile environment, of despair and gritted determination and a miracle. Or is it? So this cover is completely inappropriate.


This edition, produced by Headline Review in February 2012 is more like it. I love the simplicity of the deep blue with the outline of the girl and the fox in white. It is eye-catching and gives a far better sense of the book. While it isn’t my favourite, it is certainly a huge improvement on the previous effort.


Published in July 2012 by Polirom, this Romanian cover is an unfortunate throwback to the first cover. It looks far too juvenile for this remarkable book which covers very adult themes, even if the prose is at times ethereally beautiful.


Thank goodness this cover, produced in September 2014 by Tinder Press, is a much better effort. The snowscape is still beautiful. I love the looping font the footsteps leading away from it towards the smudge in the trees that may or may not be the child. Lovely and entirely in keeping with the content.


However my favourite is this Serbian edition by Laguna, published in January 2013. I love the cool blue of the cover and the delicacy and detail of the frosting around the edge of the cover – how beautiful! And it isn’t the snow child portrayed on the cover, it is the heavier figure of the woman, searching for her… As you may have gathered, I’ve become a tad overwrought about these covers – but which is your favourite?

19 responses »

  1. I almost used this book as well – it’s such a good book. And, yes, I agree with your pick. I would have probably chosen the Tinder book cover but I think the quotes just below the treeline spoil the look somehow.
    Lynn 😀

  2. Oh wow, you’re right. When I saw that first cover, I was like, “Oh, that’s pretty!” but I totally thought it was some sweet, cute story. I love the contrast and color and simplicity of that second cover. To be honest though, I think the third one almost portrays what you described. I get a bit of an eerie feeling rather than a cutesy one, not sure why though. But yes, that last one is pretty!

    • Ah… no wonder. It is such a lovely reading experience, you’re bound to have a soft spot for your owned cover. And besides, there’s nothing wrong with that one – it’s lovely:))

  3. Pingback: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey - A Bohemian Mind at Work

  4. Gosh, you are so right. Those first three covers make me think: “Story for kids.” While I don’t want to insist that a book with a kid on a cover *must* be for a kid, one had to take the illustration style into account. If an adult thinks that book is intended for a kid, he/she isn’t going to pick it up without some serious recommendation. Even that fourth one looks like it could be for a child, but, BUT, it could go either way considering what I assume would be the novel’s length–I could see this cover on a picture book and think “kid,” but if it’s on a thick hardcover I’d realize “adult,” and be curious.
    The last one’s my favorite, is my point. 🙂

    • Yes – I know! Given what a layered, adult read this is, dealing with grief, despair and gritted resilience I was gobsmacked when I saw that first cover… Glad you also like the last cover, too.

  5. I think I like the 3rd one best though I’m okay with the first one. While I definitely agree it looks too childish for the book there’s a certain sparseness to it that reminds me of the story. I had forgotten how much I loved this book until seeing these covers!

  6. I think I like the fourth one the most, I like the font and the slightly mysterious feel of the cover. It’s great to see how the snow theme is incorporated in each cover. And how most covers have the child and/ or the fox as well.

  7. I agree, the last one is a little design masterpiece. However, I really like the second to last, as it has more personality to it – the last one, its artfulness aside, feels a little generic to me (and aimed at older, mature audience).

    • Though this book is very much aimed at a mature audience. The protagonist is past child-bearing age and in despair at the start of the book. And this isn’t remotely a chirpy read, though stunningly beautiful. It is one of my favourite reads of all time…

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