Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Catching Your Eye – What to Read Next?

                                                           Warning: phrase overload!

Many would be familiar with the phrase ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover’ and be able to think of books to which it relates. The phrase is appealing to readers to not be judgemental as to the content and quality of a book by looking at the cover alone. 

To take the time to read and linger on the story before casting it aside based on external factors. I, however, often find this difficult to do and in working in school libraries note that many children and young adults pick up a possible book to read solely on the cover design followed by a quick turnover to the blurb on the back. Even though we know that ‘All that glitters is not gold’, the overall look, presentation and feel of a book is a high determinant in attracting readers to it in the first place. 

Children and young adults are very visual and it is important to encourage them to remember: ‘If you judge a book by its cover, you might miss out on an amazing story.’ However, with the limited resources of families, schools and libraries, books that are initially unappealing, regardless of what lies within, may not be purchased or presented in the first place. 

A poorly designed book sitting on a shelf, without promotion or recommendation, is likely to stay that way - unread. In sourcing and recommending literature for children the whole package must be considered: a quality, literary work encased in a well bound, appealing cover. 

NB:  Cover images used in this article are of books that ‘caught my eye’ and I subsequently enjoyed.

Tricia Scott
Teacher Librarian and current Tasmanian Judge for Children’s Book of the Year Awards

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