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 meme is currently being nurtured by Lynn’s Book Blog and the subject this week featuring on any of our covers is a WOLF. I’ve selected Wolf Brother – Book 1 of the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series by Michelle Paver.
This edition was produced by HarperTrophy in February 2006. The font and pawprint for the O is eye-catching and attractive, but my big problem with this cover is that it simply hasn’t been designed for the digital era and is far too dark. The figures don’t stand out sufficiently and in thumbnail, they simply disappear. Given it is for young readers, I’m not sure why this is such a gloomy offering.
Published in May 2005 by Orion Children’s Books, this cover is far more effective in thumbnail. The line drawing of the boy and the wolf glows out of the terracotta cover and once again, I love the uneven font. Personally, I would have appreciated just a bit more going on – it’s very stark for children, who are generally used to covers with far more detail.
This edition, published by Orion in 2011 is beautiful. I love the colour of the cover and the way the light has been handled. The howling wolf is fabulous, while the figure of Torak, backlit by the rising sun gives a sense of his vulnerability. Once again, the font is effective and quirky. This is my favourite cover.
This German edition, produced by cbj in January 2014 is another strong contender. I love the depiction of the ferocious bear demon in the sky, while Torak and the wolf are running together in the foreground. If I have a niggle, it’s that the figure of the boy is just a bit wooden and doesn’t have the emotion of the previous image. I also think the title font should have been edged or embossed to make it stand out more from the detailing.
This French edition, published in April 2005 by Hachette has plenty going on. It is also beautifully drawn. I love the face of this wolf and the hunched figure of Torak on the rock ledge. The title font has also been produced with care and skill – it looks really effective, even against all the artwork. But… I think there is a tad too much going on. What do you think? Do you agree with me?