• The Publishing Post

Blooming Book Covers (Just in Time for Spring)

By Beccy Fish, Giulia Caparrelli, Juliette Tulloch and Maisie Jane Garvin


As spring is finally upon us, we wanted to celebrate its arrival with a selection of flowery book covers to put us all in the mood for some sunny walks in the park and outdoor escapades to witness nature’s rebirth.


Spring by Ali Smith


Scottish author Ali Smith uses her four-part seasonal series to juxtapose one of Shakespeare's past works. The third instalment, following Autumn and Winter, Spring (2019) is the contrast to the play Pericles, and follows the two narratives of Richard and Brit who ultimately meet each other in the novel’s resolution. Entwined within their stories are the themes of immigration and human nature, influenced by the EU referendum and the tension it created. The cover design is consistent with the other three titles in the series, split in two with a block colour stamped over a hand painted image of the represented season. This cover is a perfect example of when less is more. The blue tones in the upper half depict the skies of winter clearing to reveal the radiant sky we miss in the rain. Paired with the bright greens of nature flourishing back, it shows the beginning of new life once more, as we wait in hope of the sun to shine again. The art style indicates the more personal and intimate insight of the novel, with the similar images on the other covers complimenting each other beautifully, signifying how both nature and people change.


Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu


Peach Blossom Spring is an exploration of what it means to belong, narrated through a mother-and-son relationship. The story spans three generations, from war-torn China to a new life in Taiwan and the possibility to emigrate to the United States for a better future. A scroll of ancient legends is what brings mother and son close during difficult times while escaping the war. The power of storytelling is a key element to the novel and a way for characters to make sense of their troubles. Among the stories, there is a tale that gives the book its title: a story about contentment and the fear of losing that very happiness. This serves as a metaphor for the characters to not only keep looking for their own “peach blossom spring” but also to be open to receiving it. Ultimately, it is a story of rebirth, and the beautiful book cover celebrates this awakening through a simple design and a stark colour contrast: a golden circle of light emerges from a dark background, flowers are blossoming and swallows are flying, heralding the arrival of spring.


The Girl Who Fell Beneath The Sea by Axie Oh


Axie Oh’s The Girl Who Fell Beneath The Sea was released at the end of February this year and has already been met with favourable reviews. The Feiwel & Friends edition welcomes in spring with the assortment of pastels and embracing Korean mythology, which is a stark contrast to the Hodder & Stroughton cover, which instead appears to be designed for a younger audience. Oh’s novel follows Mina and her people's despair at the bloody wars that destitute their homeland, along with the belief that the Sea God has cursed them with death. Each year a beautiful maiden must be given to the sea to serve as the Sea God’s bride, in the hope it will finally restore peace, but a close acquaintance of Mina complicates things. In a turn of events Mina finds herself on a journey to discover the Sea God through the Spirit Realm. Based on the classic Korean folktale, “The Tale of Shim Cheong,” the cover design entwines the two main characters together in blossoming nature, while Mina’s Hanbok becomes the sea itself.


Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers


Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2021, Clare Chambers’ stunning novel Small Pleasures follows the story of a London journalist in the 1950s who is investigating claims of a young woman who believes her daughter is the result of a virgin birth. The beautiful cover is by the designer and illustrator Edward Bettison, who originally worked at Penguin before moving over to freelance, and displays his work proudly for Chambers on his website. The cover almost looks like an art piece, since there is a huge amount of attention given to the oranges. The design clearly encapsulates Bettison’s signature designs which include intricate detail and bold imagery. Although the cover is simple, the blue background paired with the popping orange of the fruit embodies a calming spring evening, making me want to pick up this book as the days grow longer and the nights become warmer!

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