Christmas Book Cover Designs

by CJ McDaniel // December 23  

Christmas is a time of year where everything gets a magical touch, from the wreath on my front door to the books that find their way from the dusty basement back to the book shelf. Many times we use the cover inspiration blog to highlight well-designed covers that are adept at flying off bookstore shelves, but today I am going to highlight a few children’s Christmas book covers that, with the help of my son, are adept at flying off my own bookshelf! I hope you enjoy.

The Gift of the Magi- Written By O. Henry and Illustrated By Lisbeth Zwerger

This book is taller than any other book on my shelf, so much so that it can’t stand straight because it’s taller than the shelf itself. Books with unique sizes, however more expensive to print, get noticed if for nothing else than the display challenges they force on a bookstore. Imagine walking over to the shelf and seeing one book laying on its side on top of all the other books… that gets your attention.  The red background provides a stark contrast against the center section, successfully highlighting both the woman as well as the gold title.


The Little Shepherd Girl- Written By Juliann Henry and Illustrated By Jim Madsen

Probably one of my favorite Christmas book covers on the shelf, this beautifully illustrated book has an equally beautiful cover. The negative space is what makes this cover. It gives it a sophisticated feel, while at the same time drawing your attention to the most important elements on the cover. The negative space is just one of the very deliberate decisions made to influence the viewers’ eye movement. The little shepherd on the cover is looking up to the sky, and her line of sight directs you straight to the title, and then to the star, and the star’s light trail directs you back again.

Merry Christmas Curious George-Written By H. A. Rey and Cathy Hapka, and Illustrated By Mary O’Keefe Young

Curious George is one of my son’s favorites. The cover design on this book takes a very classical approach and lends a natural stability to what is renowned as a series depicting mischief. This seems very appropriate for a perennial favorite that will most likely revisit your bookshelves for many years. The vertical lines of the book and the perfect circle encompassing the illustration help accomplish this feel. Amidst these classic undertones, there is still enough disorder to properly represent the mischief of the Curious George brand. They do this with a thick, handwritten title font and with the picture of Curious George climbing to the top of the tree. This cover provides a great balance of aesthetics and disorder.

The Legend of the Candy Cane- Written By Lori Walburg and Illustrated By James Bernardin

This cover is well-illustrated, so much so that the emotions and fierceness of the weather depicted feel almost tangible. This really pulls you into the story, with the idea that these two people are in such bad weather but are carrying candy canes and look so happy. This theme is carried through to the typography, with everything being borderline dreary and then the “Candy Cane” lettering being so large and bright.

About the Author

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!