Exercise: A children’s book cover

You are asked to produce a cover illustration for a natural history book for children (age 7–11) entitled Animals from Around the World. The image is to be used as a full colour front jacket to encourage children to choose this book from the library shelf.



Vintage book covers



I want to emphasize this book.

Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales, illustrated by Harry Clarke



I couldn’t resist and added not only the cover of the book but book illustrations. I believe they are stunning.


Puffin Books

Puffin Books is the children’s imprint of British publishers Penguin Books. Since the 1960s it has been the largest publisher of children’s books in the UK and much of the English-speaking world.

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Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group






Just a set of cute book covers

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I especially like this one.

The Pigeon Needs a Bath! by Mo Willems



And this one.

The Dark by Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen


How to show the history of children’s book design? I decided to choose a famous kids book, which had been published for many years, and put its covers in chronological order to see how cover of one book had been changing through years.  I picked Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. By Lewis Carroll.

1866. First edition


Book covers of 1900, 1946 and 1951


Book covers of 1957, 1969 and 1975


Book covers of 1997, 2008, 2010 and 2014


We can see that kids book covers are much brighter now and more childish. Illustrations on the vintage books are much more realistic. You might think that they were drawn for adults by another adults. In modern illustrations you can see the usage of the children’s manner of drawing.

To come to this conclusion you only need to look at my set of vintage book cover and at the modern book covers.


Lemon Ribbon

Guys from Lemon Ribbon studio definitely know what kids like. Unfortunately, they don’t design kids book covers. But I’m sure they would have done an amazing job.

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In my opinion, style of these posters is ideal for kids book cover. Unfortunately, when I started working on this exercise, my computer had been hopelessly broken and I had to draw everything by hand.


Draw up at least three ideas as coloured client visuals. Include information on the final the size and format, and where the type will be positioned.










On my third cover I decided to depict prints of 4 different animals smoothly transitioning into each other.






Zebra, cow,tiger and cheetah.


I also have another idea. There is a kids game for 3 people where they draw an animal. The first person  takes a piece of paper and draws a head of an animal and then folds  it so another person can not see a head,he can only see a part of the animals’ neck. Then the piece of paper is handed to the second person and he draws a body, folds the paper and passes it to the third person. The third person draws  legs. Then they unfold the piece of paper and  see a strange and  unknown creature. I believe it is a good idea for kids book “Animals from around the world” to mix three animals in one.

I even played this games with my friends.


I made some possible sketches of the book covers.


Categories: exercises, Illustration