Children’s Book Covers as Art

reflection in the ace hotel

My husband and I recently returned from something unprecedented.  We hopped a train and headed into New York City without the kids for two whole nights.  It was an amazing feat and hadn’t been done in nearly seven years!  We indulged in afternoon beers, scrumptious oysters, explored nooks and crannies in the Lower East Side, ate one amazing meal after another, drank even more amazing drinks and meandered slowly through museums without any frantic, emergency trips to the bathroom or animated games of I Spy.  It was glorious.  (Don’t worry, the kids were with their grandparents and they enjoyed many new delights including their first taste of soda pop and ice cream bars for breakfast.  Thanks Grandma!)

We also visited The Strand bookstore for the first time.  I don’t know what took me so long to explore this incredible place!  If you’ve never been, it is absolutely worth a visit.  Especially if you have an interest in anything because The Strand will have the book about that topic that will blow your mind. Basically, everyone should see this place. (If you follow me on Instagram you already know about my trip and you also know about the wickedly naughty t-shirts at The Strand.)

I meandered over to the children’s section and asked the clerk if they had a books on the book cover art of children’s books.  There is little I love more than picture book art.  The emotions expressed in the drawings and the magic and saturated colors at the heart of children’s books are some of favorites.  I already have one book about book cover art but was hoping to find another.  Wouldn’t you know the clerk found me not one but two books about children’s illustration!  Both out of print and both around $10.  I was floored and so was she, frankly.  She was so excited for me I almost hugged her!

children's book art books

She also suggested I write another book that includes cover art beyond 1960. She was awesome. If she had suggested it, I would have started a collaboration with her.  She was seriously great and a fellow book lover.

My new books are so beautiful and I’ve admired them a whole awful lot since we got back from The City.

cover art book inside

It also reminded me that I never shared an easy, little project I did a while back to spruce up our walls.   Actually the word ‘project’ is a pretty fancy one for what I did, which is basically cut up some of my favorite book jackets and frame them (I know, it’s a little sacrilegious).

book cover framed as art.jpg

First of all, as soon as we get a new picture book in our house, I remove the book jacket and file it away. Sounds kind of silly but the book jackets just get ripped off the book or torn to bits anyway so I started saving them.

It was only natural they end up on the wall at some point.  And, I’m so pleased they did! Easy-peasy, happy wall art.

Book Jacket for children's art framed for the wall

5 Comments on Children’s Book Covers as Art

  1. Masha
    February 26, 2014 at 2:38 am (4 years ago)

    Turning book jackets into art is a great idea. I also remove our jackets – I feel like throwing them away is a bad idea but they end up sitting on the bookshelf and get ripped anyway …

    • Melissa Q.
      February 26, 2014 at 8:16 pm (4 years ago)

      Yes! Exactly!

  2. Lisa
    February 26, 2014 at 12:42 pm (4 years ago)

    Very cool art pieces…And love that you went away to NYC with your hubby!

  3. Jenny Yarbrough
    March 1, 2014 at 1:17 am (4 years ago)

    Melissa, it sounds like you had such a great time! And I have to say that I have never thought to frame the book jackets! What a no-brainer… I love it!!

    • Melissa Q.
      March 2, 2014 at 8:38 pm (4 years ago)

      You are too sweet! Thank you, we did have a great time.


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