Due to the sheer proliferation of book jackets featuring photographs rather than illustrations, I think the time is right to offer a little ode of praise to our brave illustrators who work so hard to give us great illustrated chapter book covers. In an age when it feels like all the teen covers are dedicated to giving us variations on the same theme, it’s refreshing to consider that some artists do more than just Photoshop a girl’s dress from pink to blue.
That said, sometimes it’s hard to tell who the cover artist is on an individual book. A lot of galleys and advanced readers copies may refuse to mention the jacket artist’s name, perhaps because they are reserving the right to choose a different cover at any time. As for the artists themselves, they’re not usually all that prompt with their online portfolios. With that in mind, these are the only artists I could think of off the top of my head that are doing more than one chapter book cover in the year 2010. If you can think of someone I’ve missed (or can identify another 2010 cover that is by an artist listed here) please let me know and I’ll add them as time permits.
Here’s a guy that sneaks up on you. You don’t notice him for a while and then BLAMMO! The dude seems to be everywhere. This year Altmann’s been impressing youngsters with …
The Smoky Corridor by Chris Grabenstein:
The Death Defying Pepper Roux by Geraldine McCaughrean:
The Shadow Hunt by Katherine Langrish:
The Ring of Five by Eoin McNamee:
On the other side of the pond Altmann gets his own fair share of work. I was pleased as punch, for example, to see that they had reissued Astrid Lindgren’s Ronia the Robber’s Daughter over there this year.
Not that I don’t still love the original Trina Schart Hyman illustrations from over here.
While fellow artist Brandon Dorman does the Fablehaven books in the States, Altmann is doing them in the UK. He’s also doing the Charlie Bone series over there as well. All the more interesting that he didn’t do the UK version of The Death Defying Pepper Roux in the first place.
Such a great guy. Did I mention he’s illustrating my picture book in 2011? I did didn’t I? Well, Brandon may well be declared the king of the cover, considering how many he does in a single year. Look at all those new Goosebumps covers and yup. That’s Brandon. Sometimes I feel like half the reillustrated covers (like Nim’s Island and such) are his as well. I know he’s also done a ton for 2010, but sometimes it’s difficult to determine if he’s the man behind them. Here’s what we know for sure:
Scumble by Ingrid Law:
Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror by Jenny Boylan:
The Magical Misadventures of Prunella Bogthistle by Deva Fagan:
I suspect that he’s also the man behind Crunch by Leslie Connor, but I’m probably wrong so I’ll leave it out. And he definitely did a book where a girl emerges from a fountain, but I’ve forgotten the name. A little help?
I’ve a soft spot in my heart for Tristan because he used to stop by the Central Children’s Room of NYPL to look at our N.C. Wyeth paintings from time to time. He does a fair amount of covers, but here are the only ones I spotted for 2010:
Most Wanted by Kate Thompson:
Crispin: The End of Time by Avi:
Waggit Forever by James Howe:
The Extra-Ordinary Princess by Carolyn Q. Ebbitt
The Kingdom Keepers 3: Disney in Shadow by Ridley Pearson (a series that was originally jacketed by David Frankland).
This man is one of my favorite artists but he poses a real pickle. I can identify two of these new covers. Can you figure out the rest?
The Sisters Grimm: The Inside Story by Michael Buckley
Enola Holmes: The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye by Nancy Springer
You can always spot a David Frankland cover. They are some of the most distinctive out there. The lucky authors whose jackets he graces may be long remembered for his images alone. He takes silhouettes to an entirely different level. This year:
The Celestial Globe by Marie Rutkoski:
The Joy of Spooking: Unearthly Asylum by P.J. Bracegirdle:
The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh
The Suburb Beyond the Stars by M.T. Anderson
I can always spot an Ana Juan. Even when she’s doing New Yorker covers her style is so rich and distinctive that it’s impossible to miss. She’s only done two this year, but whatta two:
The Firefly Letters by Margarita Engle
Tortilla Summer by Jennifer Cervantes
Still a relative newbie, I’m going to count Mr. Parker’s graphic novel as one of his two books. If only because I love his range:
Missile Mouse by Jake Parker
Fish by Gregory Mone
Ack! How could I almost forget Dan Santat? Aside from being one of the funniest, cleverest illustrators out there, he has a bevy of fine covers to chose from. These include . . .
Bobby the Brave (Sometimes) by Lisa Yee
Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies by Andrea Beaty
The Adventures of Nanny Piggins by R.A. Spratt
One of the finest cover artists out there. And distinctive? You have no idea.
Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus
Half-World by Hiromi Goto
Finally, I just want to pay tribute to three artists that I’m pretty sure have only a single jacket apiece this year, but are so great that I had to mention them.
Because if we like anyone in this business, it’s Matt Phelan. Just a stand up guy.
Spilling Ink by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter:
Thresholds by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan