Genre of the Week- Young Fiction

For the young fiction genre I decided to choose a poetry book  called Quick lets Get Out of Here by Micheal Rosen, illustated by Quinten Blake. I came across it in my local library, the cover is gloss laminated and bright which is likely to appeal to young readers, who also tend to like poetry at that age.

The book is a regular a-format size and was published by Puffin in 1985.

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Genre of the Week- Picture Book

As part of the Production module I will be analysing book covers and page spreads of different genres to see how they differ. This week, I chose picture books!

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers has a child-like, scribbly drawing style to it which is endearing, this goes perfectly in hand with the writing style he has chosen. This is the style he uses for all of his picture books. Jeffers tends to use small pictures with a lot of space around them, instead of zooming in on the character like many other picture books do. But this style seems to really work with the text. For example, in the spread below, the words take up most of one page and the boy is almost hidden at the bottom of the page, but this contracts well with the amount of large items he has thrown up into the tree.

The size of the book is 22.6 x 0.4 x 31.2 cm which is the standard size for a picture books, although measurements for these vary slightly.

STUCK by Oliver Jeffers



The other picture book I have chosen is Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klasson. I chose it because I like knitting and the concept of the story.

One of the first things I noticed is that most of the book is in monochrome, while the main character knits colour into people and objects around her. This means that the book would be cheaper to produce but it is an effective tool in this case. This book is by Walker Books and is a standard picture book size 25.4 x 0.9 x 21.6 cm.

extra yarn

extra yarn jon Klassen


Production Overview

Today, we were joined by Becky Chilcott. She is a freelance designer with over 10 years’ experience. She explained that a book designer used to be able to create a book covers and pages freely. However,  other departments now get involved such as people from Rights, Sales and Marketing. This is because they have to consider the international market and the consumer and measure if it is marketable.

When designing the jacket of a book, I’ve been told that you might not always have much of an idea what the book is about. This is because the author might not have finished writing it so you have to improvise and work with the information you are given, perhaps a paragraph, or setting and/ or character descriptions. You will also have to provide illustrators with a brief if artwork is required.

Choosing an illustrator will depend on what book you are publishing. For example Nick Sharott only illustrates books for Jacqueline Wilson and Oliver Jeffers creates small drawings with lots of space. A new author might use a new illustrator to establish a new series for example.

In class, we went on to look at the descriptions of the books and to imagine what this would look like. Everyone had slightly different ideas, as an array of covers would probably work for each book, it just depends on the artist’s interpretation of the information provided. We looked The Girl with all the Gifts, Noah Barleywater Runs Away, Opal Plumsted, Tampa and The Boy and the Bear and the Boat.

The 3 SECOND RULE- a book cover has only 3 seconds to catch the interest of a potential consumer, so it is not surprising that a lot of time goes into creating the right one(s). The place where it is sold may also be a factor in what the book will look like, whether it is going to be sold face out or on a shelf, in Waterstones or The Works.  “If the book doesn’t sell, they’ll blame the cover” Becky informed us.Here, Bullet

We were also asked think of how we would re-create one of our favourite books. I chose Here, Bullet by Brian Turner. To me, this cover looks like any other war poetry book, which isn’t always a bad thing, but I would have suggested something dark such as satin material washing over the page with a few speckles of blood and the title in silver or gray— Nothing to horrifying, but enough to spark an interest. Becky highlighted that the material would contrast well with the harshness of the rest of the imagery.