Like in most book genres, a children’s book cover is essential in making it appealing to its target audience, especially since it’s the first thing potential readers will see. If the children’s book cover is not attractive enough, the child may not even pick up the book to look at it. A children’s book cover not only exists to be a visual summary of the book but as an actual example of the illustration style and feel of the book inside. It helps set the tone for the book, making it memorable for the child. Sure enough, if the book cover is intriguing, the child will remember the book and want to reread it.
Children’s Book Covers
Below is a list of some well-done children’s book covers that appeal to adults and children alike. If you’re an author, illustrator, or publisher of children’s books, the list below offers valuable inspiration for your current or upcoming work!
1. A Day With My Dad by Lance Waite
Colors are great tools for attracting children’s curiosity, and this cover uses that fact to its advantage. From the title changing color every few words to the bright yellow and red of the towel in the corner to the clothes that father and daughter are wearing, it is immediately eye-catching for any small child. Further adding to its lure are the evident fun activities depicted in this cover, such as the giant Ferris wheel at the boardwalk amusement park, the beach toys in the sand, and the excitement between the dad and daughter as they enjoy a moment of joy. These elements, successfully combined, make the cover appealing to children, the target audience.
2. Raccoon Tune by Nancy Shaw
Practically every child loves animals, and this cover competently uses that fact to bring forth a frozen scene that is sure to spark attention and enjoyment from its target audience. While most children are used to seeing household pets like cats and dogs, it isn’t as often they see wild animals like raccoons. The fact that there is a small family of raccoons on the front immediately gets their curiosity going. To further ignite that curiosity, these raccoons play music with garbage cans and other trash. Kids will wonder, “Do raccoons do that?” and want the story to be read to them.
3. Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Even before the movie came out, most people had heard about this book. As a new generation comes to love it, the fantastic cover may have contributed to the book’s popularity in the first place. Potential readers will first notice one of two things: the title with its slightly unusual font and the strange yet peaceful picture that graces the central part of the cover. No matter what catches their eye first, the book cover will entice enough curiosity to flip it open and discover what happens inside. The font on the front is slightly wild, just as the title suggests. The sleeping, smiling creature on the show, with its giant size and strangely human-looking feet, looks like something cuddly and friendly, despite the prominent horns and claws. The boat in the background, combined with the title, alludes to an adventure of some kind. Every element of this cover stimulates curiosity and the desire for the story to be read.
4. What The Ladybug Heard by Julia Donaldson
This cover makes a brilliant combination by combining bright colors with friendly animals, two elements children love. By using recognizable animals like a cow, a cat, and a pig, the child already has a sense of familiarity with the characters and will more likely desire to hear the story. The big, bright letters of the title attract immediate attention with all their capital letters and vibrant, recognizable colors. Moreover, with all eyes on the tiny little ladybug, children will be interested to learn why she is so important. One last thing that makes this cover great is the author’s and illustrator’s names in smaller print. While giving credit to the book’s creators is essential, kids could care less about who wrote the book or drew the pictures. Making the print for this text small gives enough credit to the creators while keeping children focused on the things they’ll like.
5. Hero Dad by Melinda Hardin
The title on this cover alone is enough to spark the imagination of nearly any small child, as many of them already look to their father as a superhero of some kind. The title font is straightforward, using a red color contrasting the rest on the cover. It is also in reasonably large print, helping the title stick out. This combination is good because it will be eye-catching to both children and parents who pass by it. For the illustrator, author, and copyright at the top, the rest of the text blends in more with the scene. The font is smaller, and the colors blend well with the background, which leaves more attention for the title and, of course, the scene illustrated on the front. The sky and truck appear faded in the background of a father lovingly holding their child on their shoulders. The best thing about that part of the picture? The child could be a girl or a boy, making this something that any kid could relate to and enjoy.
6. Princess Soup by Holly Covell
Many children grow up enjoying the sight of princes and princesses. This cover illustration appeals to kids who want to peek into a princess’ life. The cover contains bright colors and eye-catching shades of pink, enough to entice any kid who wants to imagine living a princess life. Apart from the lovely choice of colors, the friendly expression of the princess, the busy kitchen as the background, and the elegant yet playful choice of font will make potential readers want to pick up this book and learn more about its story. It’s the perfect cover for princess and chef aspirants who are also adventure-seekers.
7. Bubble Head, It’s Time for Bed! by Misty Black
Children’s books help parents prepare their children for a relaxing and restful sleep. The cover of this book exhibits that purpose, as its title straightforwardly states, “It’s Time for Bed!” The kid on the tub, the rubber duck floating, and the bubble scattered on the cover illustration complement the title, giving parents and children a preview of what to expect inside. Although it’s not as colorful as other children’s books, the cover is still vibrant blue, staying true to its theme. The font also contributes generously to this cover’s appeal. It’s big enough for readers to see, the color choice isn’t distracting, it blends well with the background, and it’s playful enough to attract the attention of young readers.
8. Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
How many children these days know what llamas look like? For that sole reason, this book cover could already intrigue many kids! The big illustration of a llama in its red pajama holding a little doll figure offers familiarity for children of all ages preparing to sleep. The font used for the title is also unusual yet effective, paired with just the right color choice, especially for the “red” text. As for the author’s name, it looks like an engraved name on the llama’s bed! Much like what the cover depicts, this book is something young readers love to read before they sleep.
9. The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll
Kids love playing with the snow, creating fancy figures, and building snowmen. This book cover brings this activity to life through a giant snowman made by two mice covered with warm clothing. The cover illustration looks like something kids would do with their friends during winter, attracting their attention to reminisce about those days as they read the book. The placement of the title was also clever, as it used the giant snowman’s body as its background. Using red as the font color also places enough emphasis on the title—making this cover illustration a masterpiece for a children’s book!
10. Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex T. Smith
Warm, vibrant, and eye-catching colors paired with an exciting illustration make a children’s book cover easily stand out on a shelf. That’s what this full-color book cover achieved! As depicted on the cover art, a lion is holding a knife and a fork while a little girl looks at it suspiciously. It’s a well-done illustration that reflects the title and gives young readers a glimpse into the story within the book. The combination of font, font size, color, background colors, and cartoon style used for the illustration complement one another, creating a delightful and practical design for a children’s book cover.
11. How to Catch a Mermaid
Kids enjoy reading about creatures that could only exist through their imagination. This book cover satisfies that interest! It entices young readers to discover how to catch a mermaid, displaying a glimpse of it but not in its full glory. The font used for the title is also effective, considering one of its letters looked like a hook and the word “mermaid” is in different font color. It’s a cover illustration that will appeal to children of all ages, vibrant and lively, to capture their attention at first sight.
Children’s book covers are important because they are the first thing a potential reader will see. While children’s book covers may seem like a minor detail, they play a crucial role in the success of a book. A well-designed cover will make a child want to pick up the book and learn more about the story. Additionally, a cover can communicate important information about the book’s content and themes. For these reasons, authors, illustrators, and publishers must carefully consider the design of a children’s book cover, much like the examples from our list.
Are you up for more inspiration for your latest or next Book Cover design? Find our Book Cover Ideas Blog here.