Kids book covers

There are a heap of great books for kids out there but there’s one thing that really annoys me about them. With the fear of sounding a little obsessive compulsive here, I’m going to go out on a limb and admit that I hate it when books have different pictures on the cover to what’s inside. So many baby and toddler books I’ve picked up lately are like that. Why, oh why, do they do this?

I’ll give you an example. One book has pictures of various objects and animals in it. On the front cover there’s a ball and a door along with a lovely picture of an elephant. Inside I find the aforementioned ball and door but no elephant. What happened to the elephant? Why was it omitted from the book? Was it originally going to go in the book but then at the last minute was thrown on the cutting room floor? Or was the publisher just too lazy to change the cover design to reflect the changes to the book? Maybe it was just pure forgetfulness that led to the elephant remaining on the cover? Perhaps the cover was printed first so it would be too expensive to reprint it once the final proofs were done on the book?


Then there’s the book on colours. This time all the pictures on the cover are inside the book. Phew! But they’re different colours on the cover to what you find in the book. On the cover the flower is red but in the book it’s purple. Then there’s the lizard. On the cover it’s green with purple feet but in the book it’s plain purple. Was the person who designed this colour blind or just trying to be tricky?

It’s a complete mystery to me as to why publishers do this. If it’s not in the book why put it on the cover? It’s like buying a box of chocolates with a picture of rocky road on the box only to find there are only peppermints and caramels inside. What a disappointment to find your favourite chocolate doesn’t exist. And what about that poor rejected elephant who was good enough to go on the cover but not to be part of it? If nothing else, it puts a whole new meaning on ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover.’

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