On-Color Stories

My mother and I were very close when I was a child, but there was one thing that always baffled me.

puzzled-girl-620x335

Yellow was her favorite color. I puzzled over this mystery–why couldn’t she see that red was prettier?

Now, as an adult, I also prefer yellow, but I think we can learn something here about children’s book covers.

There was the award-winning book I took to the day care but did not read because the children didn’t choose it. Why? I think because the cover, although attractive to an adult, was a little on the dark side.

This cover has some dark blue, but I think its intensity, along with the judicious use of light and the mood the contrast evokes (not to mention the subject matter), are what put it at the top.

wolf's coming big

Then there was the book with the pretty pastel cover–it didn’t get chosen till I put it between two stories the children had already heard.

However, this one was picked the first time:

Best Sheepdog

On the basis of this and other storytimes, I conclude that color is highly significant,

Doctor Hippo

but that cute trumps color. Size matters, too–large books seem more attractive, and the artists may be able to get away with lighter colors.

This book, large in real life, was a popular choice.

Edge Forest

Coralie and I went back and forth about the color of Tina’s dress. I’m no longer into fire engine red and thought pink might be cliché, but I do like the pink/red family. We finally settled on this shade, with my granddaughter Tina choosing Katie Kat’s colors.

29 Tina Hugs KK 300 ppi

On the sage advice of a toddler, we went with purple for the dress under construction. Coralie came up with the gold for Tommy’s shirt.

My next book, Marie and Mr. Drone, stars a little girl who lives in a cabin in the woods and plays with her forest friends. The story takes place in the fall–the artist’s favorite season for obvious reasons. Coralie plans to create a couple of outfits for Marie, and my granddaughter Tina will choose the one she likes the best. Whatever she chooses, I’m sure Coralie will have colored it to complement fall’s beauty.

We trust it will also appeal to the eyes of a child.

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