Children's Book Covers: Great book and jacket cover design.

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Children's Book Covers: Great book and jacket cover design by Alan Powers.Mitchell Beasley, Octopus Publishing Group, 2006/2003; 11.6 x 9.2"; 144 pp. including a good bibiography and index.

At first glance this looks like a coffee table book, but the author, a writer, curator, and lecturer on architecture and design, has created a knowledgeable historical survey of British and American book boards and jackets beginning with 17th century chapbooks. There are over 400 specially photographed jackets and covers, 3-5 on every page, and some quite large and the selections show concern for illustrating important books, as well as the author's personal taste. I appreciate the fact that these are photographs of real books, not cropped "improved" rectangles. Books that customarily have certain flaws, have the flaws showing in these pictures (de Monvel spine cloth, chips on jacket extremities of Millions of Cats). That honest quality gives the reader the feeling of attending a wonderful exhibition. The arrangement of the books is chronological, within that, the groupings are interesting. Really an excellent survey of the subject for a relatively low price.

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