Want to play publisher for a day? Become an illustrator with this fun and creative project. Make a book jacket for either your favorite book or one that you read and thought could be represented better.
Take a minute to think about the book jacket designs that you have seen. How did the artist decide on the image and style? Looking at some of your favorite titles, would you have chosen the same artistic style, or description on the inside book jacket? What would you do differently? Keep the same? How important is the illustration and the book jacket description to you when choosing the book? Do you ever think about the book jacket summary after you have read a book? Was it accurate?
What You Need:
- Large construction paper or drawing paper
- Lined paper
What You Do:
- Choose either one of your favorite books, or one that you read that you want to work with to change the cover.
- First step is to write the summary for the interior flap of the cover. Begin by brainstorming your ideas for the jacket summary. What is the book about? Why would someone want to read it? Remember to make the summary attractive and exciting, while still staying true to what the book is about. Remember, it should be a short piece, and writing should be clear and concise.
- Once you have the ideas hashed out, write a rough draft, read to a parent and discuss if they feel what you wrote is a good, brief description about the book. Ask yourself, would it make someone want to know more and read this book?
- When your edits are finished, cut two strips of lined paper, about 4 inches wide and as long as the book jacket will be. Publish the final draft by writing out your summary on one of the strips (the front flap), and continuing onto the other (the back flap). These will be glued later inside your illustrated jacket.
- Next, lay out a large sheet of drawing paper or construction paper. Place the book, spine down, on top of the paper and fold each end around the covers, leaving around 4 inches on each side. Glue the front and back summaries down on each flap in writing order.
- Now design and illustrate your cover. You can use collage, colored pencils, markers, or anything else you think would work. Remember, you are the artistic director! Don’t forget to include the title and author’s name on your new cover.
- Finally, when completed, share your book jacket with others!
Alicia Danyali, BS Elementary Education, taught primary-level students for four years at the International School of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The last four years of her teaching career, she taught at the Washington International School in Washington, D.C. She recently completed writing a series of children's picture books and is a mother of one young son.