Monday, July 2, 2012

Cover me- I'm goin' in. . .

I am returning from absentia to discuss book covers once again. My library's copy of The Horn Book arrived today, so of course I took a quick look-see through it before it was sent down to the Children's Dept.

A debut novel by Nancy Grossman has a beautiful cover featuring butterflies in a mason jar.

It clearly wishes to express romance and nostalgia, as it has a very country, good ol' days vibe to it. It immeditaely reminded me of the cover of another book, "Awaken" by Katie Kacvinsky.

Obviously, Kacvinsky's cover features flowers inside the jar instead of butterflies, but what is the significance of the mason jars? many people use them as decoration in their homes in order to evoke that same type of country-esque, wasn't-it-better-when-life-was-simpler feeling.

I have not read Grossman's book, but the descriptions of it online reveal it to be the story of an Amish girl who must choose between "going English" and returning to the staid lifestyle of her community.

In contrast, Kacvinsky's book is a dystopian story about  the not-so-distant-future where everything is done on the computer. The protagonist, Maddie, fights "the system" with the help of a small contingent of rebels who also dislike the digital-only world. The book has a sequel, and its cover fits nicely into this thread:

Again with the butterflies! Not that I am complaining about any of these covers, or about mason jars or butterflies, I just find it interesting that these images seem to have such a universal symbolism. Butterflies represent nature, and beauty, and freedom, whereas another creature, say a squirrel or some other thing that is relatively benign, provoke mixed responses from people.

Perhaps this post is pointless- I am sure I didn't blow anyone's mind with any of these thoughts- but I always enjoy a good cover mash-up.