Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Book Covers I Would Frame as Pieces of Art.
I have a feeling today’s Top Ten Tuesday posts are going to be heavy on YA covers, many of which are photographs these days. So I thought I’d go a different direction, and focus mainly (but not exclusively) on fantasy and fairy tale art. Here is cover art I totally would hang on my wall. (I have to be honest — in most cases, I’d rather have the cover art than the full cover itself.) Some of these I love because they’re really wonderful art by amazing artists. One or two are favorites because I love the book itself. And some are just pretty! As usual, they’re in no particular order.
N.C. Wyeth, cover illustration for the Ladies Home Journal, March 1922
OK, so the one above is cheating because it’s a magazine cover… but what a great image for a study, library, or child’s room!
Aunt Dimity’s Deathhas been one of my comfort books for years, and the main character’s pink bunny, Reginald, is close to my heart. My daughter even knitted me my own Reginald, so I’d love to have this picture on the wall and sit my bunny nearby. (I just found out I can get a print or canvas copy from CafePress. Guess what I want for my birthday?)
My own Reginald, designed and knit by ‘Robin’
Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small quartet is my favorite of all her books, and this cover captures Kel perfectly in my eyes. This is one where I would frame the whole cover; I love how they set the series name and title in the banner.
Squire (Protector of the Small #3; Tamora Pierce)
Next up is the gorgeous wrap-around cover for one of the early paperback editions of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonsong. This was the edition I had as a young teen, and I loved the art so much that I tried to embroider the picture on the back cover so I could frame it. Over 30 years later, it’s still one of my favorite covers ever — and that unfinished embroidery piece is still in my sewing box downstairs.
I also love the art she did for the second book in the series, with its rich robes and tapestries and delicate, elongated fire lizards:
Dragonsinger (Anne McCaffrey)
Cover art by Elizabeth Malczinski Littman
And a later cover for Dragonsong, by Rowena (Rowena Morrill). It doesn’t have the medieval illuminated manuscript feel of Malczinski’s work, but I love the colors and composition, and the way Menolly’s fire lizards are swooping protectively around her. (The colors in the art are truer than those in the cover image.)
Dragonsong (Anne McCaffrey)
Cover art by Rowena
I would frame almost any piece by Michael Hague — well, maybe not, but he’s done a lot of work that I admire. This is one of my favorites:
The Unicorn and the Lake (Marianna Mayer)
Cover art by Michael Hague
And I love the art of P. J. Lynch, and would happily frame almost any of his illustrations. But this is my favorite cover so far:
Melisande (E. Nesbit)
Cover art by P. J. Lynch
The next two are by Frank Godwin (who just happens to be my step-great-grandfather, but I’d love his art even if he weren’t.) Like Wyeth, he was an artist and illustrator in the “Golden Age” of book illustration, in the early-to-mid-twentieth century.
The Blue Fairy Book (Andrew Lang)
Cover and cover art/frontispiece by Frank Godwin
The Book of Courage (Herman Hagedorn)
Cover and color illustration by Frank Godwin
Here’s another N. C. Wyeth cover I just love: the balance and tension, the art, and colors are all wonderful, and besides, it’s a knight and a dragon!
Legends of Charlemagne; cover art by N. C. Wyeth
What about you — what covers would you hang on your wall?