It may be true that we can't judge a book by its cover, but an enticing cover can be enough of a miracle all its own sometimes. The artistry of book design is obvious in young children's books. The illustrator is on equal ground with the writer. The book must come alive visually to spark possibilities of perception in tiny minds, to engage imagination beyond the known vistas of home and playground.
As we move on to chapter books with few to no pictures, we develop the ability to apply images in our own minds. But we have been primed from day one with color, line, shadow and light, and style.
Lately I came across some "Green Eggs and Ham" recipes published by the NPR (National Public Radio). Of course, these were inspired by the famous Dr. Suess book. (There's a whole list of crazy cool links of recipes inspired by book in my newsletter.) But the article reminded me of several artists who have taken textile work to the library and designed book covers or created mixed media works or book related crafts using embroidery and I thought to just lay them out for you to enjoy. You won't even need a library card!
Jillian Tamaki is a Canadian artist who has designed and stitched numerous book covers.
Rachel Sumpter is another artist who has taken to embroidering book covers.
There is a long historical tradition for creating needlework book covers such as this one dated 1765.
And an entire body of embroidered and couched covers.
For a more modern take on mixed media and books, there are the many tutorials for how to embroider a journal cover.
This is one of my favorite tutorials for how to recover an older book with a lovely embroidered cover.
And of course, this is just accessible to anyone who wants to journal in threads while enjoying a lovely cuppa while out and about. Check out all of the entries by One Sheepish Girl, Meredith Crawford.