Friday Faceoff – Time travel is possible. Will explain later. #Brainfluffbookblog

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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 object this week featuring on any of our covers or the story is an AMULET, so I’ve selected a book I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading, The Story of the Amulet – Book 3 of the Five Children series by E. Nesbit.

 

This edition was produced by Penguin Classics in March 1995. I love the artwork and the green-hued backdrop which gives a real sense of the drama and danger of a trip back to Egypt. But that clunky red something doesn’t remotely resemble any amulet I’ve ever seen – what a shame, given the wonderful lighting giving it centre stage. And my other peeve is that dreadful red text box plonked right across all that fabulous detail…

 

Published by Penguin Classics in March 2018, this is a much better effort. The colouring is attractive and I love the scene within a scene, giving a hint of the time travelling theme. The style, along with the children featured in the Egypt makes it clear this is a children’s story. I also love that font – this is my favourite.

 

Produced by Smk Books in March 2009, the amulet featured on the front of this cover is beautiful and draws the eye, while the font is attractive and easy to read. However, my concern is that there is nothing on this cover that informs the reader that this is a children’s book.

 

This Kindle edition is certainly eye-catching. But the golden rule must be that a cover should reflect the content and the etched figures being swallowed up as they enter that brooding gothic building give a sense that it’s a horror story. And it isn’t – it is a lesser-known book in one of the most famous early fantasy tales for children.

 

This is another attractive, striking contender, published by Virago in 2018. The warm yellow backdrop is welcoming and I love all the details on the cover that directly link up to the content. While the title is inoffensively clear, I do feel that Times New Roman is a bit joyless for one of the first time-travelling adventures written for children. It’s the main reason why this one isn’t my favourite – but what do you think?

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31 responses »

  1. Hard to believe these are the same book.
    Cover 1 I had the same initial reaction but after looking at Cover 2 and realizing that it referenced Egypt, the image on cover 1 became clearer to me – it has the general shape of an ankh which is an Egyptian symbol. The last cover has a similar-ish shape as well. But, yeah, I can’t tell from these covers what the story is really – artistically my faves are probably the 2nd and the 4th ones…and I agree the 3rd doesn’t seem like a children’s book at all.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Joanne – it’s not too often that a book has such a wide variety of covers, but it’s been around for a while so I suppose that’s the reason.

    • Thank you, Laura – I haven’t yet read this one, but I’m quite tempted given that Nesbit consulted H.G. Wells on the subject of time travel and then complained that he’d overwhelmed her with far too much detail:)

  2. Cover nr. 3 is the most eye-catching, thanks to the contrast between the black background and the gold in the amulet, but you’re right in stressing the fact that it does look more like a book for grown-ups rather than children, who might not be attracted by this images as an adult might…

  3. Gosh there is some real differences in these covers, and as you said some of them give no indication that this is a children’s book. My favourite is the second one, it just draws me to it and makes me want to pick the book up. I also like the last one but agree with you about the font choice.

    • Thank you, Jean:). And sign-posting who the intended audience are has to be the main function of a book cover – other than keeping the pages from falling onto the floor…

  4. I absolutely love the first one despite the large chunks of red. I love the green backdrop and the spotlight on the amulet. I also love the font.
    The second one I’m not crazy about. I don’t really like the orange. The next one has a pretty amulet but I agree, you wouldn’t know it was for children. The next one is dark and unclear. I don’t like it at all. The last one would be my second favorite. I like the colors and all that’s going on in the picture. But, I agree, the font isn’t exciting.

  5. Reblogged this on Wanda Luthman's Children's Books and commented:
    This is one of my favorite things—Friday Faceoff! Here are several different covers of the same book and people weigh in on which ones they like best. They do not always feature children’s books, but this time they do. Also, Sarah Higbee’s blog is one of my favorites. While you’re here, poke around and check it out. She’s also an author. If you like science fiction, you’ll enjoy her books.

  6. For me it was a toss up between the first two. The read doesn’t bother me in the image, but the box with the title is way too large. Having said that, with it being a Children’s Story, then I would have to say the second one would be my choice.

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