A Book by Its Cover – Children’s Version

July 19, 2012
Posted by Jay Livingston

What’s this book about?” asks the little girl as her parent browses in the Classics section of the bookstore.  Maybe she’s pointing to Middlemarch. Or Ulysses.  What do you say?

Sunnychanel, who blogs at Babble.com, turned her slight frustration at trying to answer that question into a research opportunity.  If life hands you an inquisitive six year old, do research on book covers and youthful ideation.  Sunnychanel turned the question back on the daughter and asked her what she thought the book was about.Here are the book covers and just below them, the daughter’s synopsis.

Sometimes the kid came close to the mark.  For example, she totally nailed the “magical realism” of Garcia Marquez.

(Click on the image for a larger view that will allow you 
to read the synopsis beneath the book cover.)

On The Great Gatsby she wasn’t very close, but I’d have to blame that one on the graphic designer.


And there are some, like Lord of the Flies, where she hears the basic tune, but the minor sonorities of the original become a bright major upbeat melody, the sort of thing you might skip along to.


And then there’s Jane Eyre, the gold digger.
“Reader, I could really dig him.”

I guess you could turn this exercise into a projective diagnostic instrument – the Rorschach or Thematic Apperception Test, but more fun.

The full post is here.  An earlier SocioBlog post on book covers is here.  And if you haven’t seen BetterBookTitles, browse here.

HT: Shamus Khan

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