Calling All Critiques: Cover Art Entry #7

We’ve had a lot of amazing book covers in our cover art edition of Calling All Critiques! It’s been wonderful to see so much effort put into great design work to fit the storyline and genre. Speaking of which, our final cover is ready to be critiqued!


Author: Lucy Beebe Tobias
Title: Mary Margaret Manatee: the adventures of a young Florida manatee
Genre: picture book, grandparents, children ages 5-10


Thanks to everyone who participated in the cover art event, and thank you to all the wonderful authors who submitted their covers! We hope you’ve had plenty of useful feedback.

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4 Responses to Calling All Critiques: Cover Art Entry #7

  1. MM Jaye says:

    Mary Margaret is plain adorable! If I saw her smiling at me in a bookstore, I’d surely take her back home to read her adventures to my little one. So, in terms of portraying your main character as someone attractive to a kid, you did a great job! I also like your color palette; vibrant and nature-like. Some minor observations would be: the too straight line dividing the underwater portion. Initially, I didn’t get that the lower part of the cover is supposed to be underwater, plus the two fishes are barely discernible. Finally, I’d have chosen a different color for your tagline. Black is too sombre for your cover, and maybe it’s not the best choice for anywhere on a children’s book. Other than that, I appreciate the fact that you didn’t overdo it with too many elements. Good luck!

  2. This is such a cute cover! I love how bright and happy it is, and I’m sure it would attract children and parents alike. I agree with Maria about the light being too straight for the water. I also think that the manatee’s eye is too much like a human’s and that it’s just a little too far out of the ocean. Those two things combined make the manatee look a little unnatural, so I think a more manatee-like eye would help, and you could put him a little further down into the water so just his head is sticking up.

    Overall, a really nice cover that will capture your target audience. Good job!

  3. raisingdaisy says:

    I love the title of this book and the colors on the cover – the colors would definitely attract me as a mom. They’re what I call “happy colors”, and that’s great on a children’s book; however, I find the title and subtitle font choice a little to “severe” in comparison. They’ve got a more serious look to them and don’t fit with the feel of the rest of the cover. I’d go for something “happier”, more playful, maybe with more of a fun, hand-written overtone. I also thought the artwork divided the cover in half until I realized that the bottom was supposed to water – the straight line of the water looked like more of a division between more precise artwork and art on the lower half with an impressionist feel. There needs to be some movement in the water, both on the surface and within the water. I didn’t even notice the two fishes until I read MM Jaye’s comment. I also think the manatee’s eye should be smaller and less “human” looking; a more roundish/slightly oval eye with eyelashes would work better. Also, too much of the manatee is sticking out of the water, making it look unnatural. I would also give the flower a more fluid, relaxed, natural appearance – to my eye, it’s too stiff looking and seems “placed” on the cover rather than naturally-occurring in the scene. I know this all sounds like a lot, but they’re really all relatively minor modifications. Overall it’s a great concept and a very pretty cover.

  4. I’m the one who originally wrote the “no gushing” rule, but I just have to gush. I think this is the cutest cover ever! I think you did a great job balancing the elements of the cover, although I do see the others’ point about the water being a little bit too divide-y. I want to bring Mary Manatee home, put her in my bathtub, and give her pets on the head. (Some of that might be my pregnancy hormones talking, but hey, still, GOOD JOB.) Very adorable.

    Also, I don’t know if you’re a self-publisher or not, but if you are, I commend you on doing a picture book. That one isn’t easy to self-pub.

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