Monday, May 7, 2007

What's A New Cover Worth?

Yay! Square Fish Press has put out a beautiful new edition of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time (as well as the other books in the series). I am overjoyed with the result. The jackets were designed by Taeeun Yoo, who has her own fantastic new book out as well, The Little Red Fish, which spent some time on our staff recommends wall. I am really looking forward to seeing more from Ms. Yoo. I also noticed on her links page that she has a link to my other favorite new illustrator (and major crush), Jonathan Bean. He has illustrated Lauren Thompson's new picture book, The Apple Pie That Papa Baked, which was my favorite picture book from Simon and Schuster Juvenile's summer list and in my top five from all publishers' summer lists (I'm sure you'll hear me mention it again when it comes out in August). After I saw the F&G (F&G = folded and gathered, the picture book equivalent of the galley) I asked my S&S kids rep if he was single. Not only did she not tell me if he was, but she mentioned that I wasn't the first buyer to ask and she wouldn't tell me who my competition is! I'm really looking forward to seeing Mr. Bean's new solo book, which is to come out this fall. He'll be signing at BEA; I'll have to see if I have the courage to introduce myself.

And from the sublime to the ridiculous...

I'm not going to put up a picture of any of the new covers of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series, they are just too painful. There has been some controversy about them, which you can read about here. When I first saw the covers I thought they had taken stills from the Little House TV show. I love Melissa Gilbert as Half-Pint, but I was peeved; it would be like replacing Mary GrandPre's Harry Potter illustrations with images of Daniel Radcliffe. Well, it turns out the girl in question is not Ms. Gilbert, but she is quite her doppelganger. AND all Garth Williams's interior illustrations have been removed, which seems wholly unnecessary. Shame on you, HarperCollins. Every time we do a Harper order I tack on obscene numbers of the old editions, and just recently for the first time my orders didn't get filled. I almost want Jes to keep the old editions in the back for people who ask for them rather than sell them out. Sigh.

And finally...

You'll learn that I am of the school that loves illustration and illustrators. I wish more books--for adults as well as kids--were intelligently illustrated. Maybe others do as well, which explains the growing market for graphic novels, but that is another entry for another time, I think.

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