I have already written two posts about my favourite covers, but as there are so many good ones I am back with a third. This time I’m going to look exclusively at the wrap-around kind of dustjacket. I have shown a few already – from the Adventure Series and the Caravan Family series amongst others – but here are some of the others I have found that didn’t fit into the categories I already used.
It’s hard to put into words why I like wraparound dustjacket illustrations so much. I mean, first, I suppose, it more than doubles the amount of space that was available for the artist to fill with their work. But there is also the clever way they use the spine and the back panel – all part of the same scene but so often beautifully framing individual elements so that they each create a picture in their own right.
Some jackets look nice from the front but when you open them out to get the full effect it just elevates them.
The Barney Mysteries
I have already featured one cover from the first book – the Rockingdown Mystery – but it wasn’t a wrap-around one. That book didn’t get one, despite having at least three early hardback editions.
Anyway, all the rest of the series did. I think my favourite two are from The Ring O Bells Mystery and The Rilloby Fair Mystery, though they are all good.
The front of Ring O Bells is attractive, and this looks good on the shelf with just Loony visible on the spine, but opening it out reveals Diana holding on to the other end of the rope, with Naomi Barlow’s cottage hidden amongst the trees.
Again, this is a nice cover just from the front. However, opening it up to reveal a wider view of the fair is even better. I particularly like the framed post on the spine with the hanging sign that reads Enid Blyton, and Collins being written on the box supporting that ornament.
The front of The Rubadub Mystery is almost claustrophobic with the narrow passage filled with the enormous shadows of the children, and then opens up to reveal more of the village, and the mysterious light shining from the window.
The Rat-a-Tat cover doesn’t have a lot on the back but the snowed in house is still attractive, with the tower framed on the spine.
And lastly the Ragamuffin cover, at first glance, looks rather bare on the back. But then you may notice some shadowy figures emerging from a cave. Plus Miranda and the man with the heavy sack are nicely framed on the spine.
All the Malory Towers books had two different wrap around covers so I’ll just show a few of the best here.
The original jacket for Second Form is attractive but does not stand out terribly. This second reprint cover, however, has possibly the most exciting episode of the series front, side and back. From the front view we see Mary-Lou hanging from Daphne’s belt rope, and only when the cover is opened up do we see the rescue party about to leap into action.
The wraparound here on the (reprint) Upper Fourth is able to give us a much better view of a classroom than the front cover alone could.
The same goes for the reprint of In the Fifth, which opens out from the stage of the pantomime to show the ‘orchestra’ and some of the audience.
Some other titles
The Magic Faraway Tree
The front of this cover is very inviting as you almost wait to see is Silky is going to open her little yellow door. And then it opens up to show us the Angry Pixie, Moon-Face and some other inhabitants of the tree.
The Adventure of the Secret Necklace
I absolutely love how Isabel Veevers has created an almost 3D scene with the spine forming the dividing wall between the corridor on the back and the room on the front cover. When the book is closed they are two separate scenes, but open, as above, the 3D effect is very clear.
Mr Pink Whistle’s Party
This is another beautiful front cover, packing in a ton of detail like the writing on the cake and the pleats in the skirts. Then opening it up there’s a whole host more detailed characters enjoying the party.
Do you have a fondness for the full jackets in particular? If so, what’s your favourite one?
All these book covers are fabulous. And the books themselves too of course. I owe my entire career to Enid Blyton. Her books had me reading under the bedsheets with a torch from an early age. Her simple, effective, imaginative storytelling gave me a huge head start in English lessons in school, O Level secured by age of 14, something I didn’t really equal in any other subject even within the following two or three years. Mastery of English helped my eloquence, to be able to engage with new people quickly and warmly. Enid really helped me get through my job interview, and for forty years afterwards my best work in industry was always…Written. Reports, presentations, everything I did well at, was all thanks to her and her books. And the covers, they drew you into the books, inviting you to read the exciting adventures depicted so splendidly on the dust cover. Thanks for your excellent review of them, and our thanks to the greatest author of all time, Enid Blyton.
Thank you! I will look at the wrap around covers with even more interest now you have shown some of the clever ways the artists make the most of the opportunities. Aren’t they lovely!
Works of art!!