Monday, January 17, 2011

Love That Dog: Design and Jackets

I'm always intrigued by the cover designs that are chosen for translations.  Above are four examples from the dozen or so foreign editions of Love That Dog (from top left, clockwise: American, Mexican, Japanese and Netherlands.) From the beginning, I loved the classic, simple American cover with the perfect William Steig drawing of a dog; this was also used as the basis for the Japanese cover.  The Mexican cover takes a sort of bold Picasso-like approach, whereas the cover for the Netherlands edition plays off the original American one but with a different dog and with red lettering instead of blue.

It's also interesting to compare the various portrayals of the concrete 'dog poem' in this book. First, the American version:

Two other versions (Japanese and German):

I love the pure, simple layout for the original American version; foreign editions also pick up this approach. The story seemed to require generous white space. First, the American edition:

The Japanese edition:

And from the Netherlands:

This story, in its content, form and presentation appears so simple, and yet for me it conveys so much complexity.  The companion to Love That Dog is Hate That Cat:

Hate That Cat is similar to Love That Dog in layout and design, and we were fortunate to secure a William Steig drawing of a surly cat to adorn the red jacket.


  1. These are things that never occurred to me. So interesting! Has that bookshelf to my right always been there? I just noticed it. Perfect!

    It was -10 here this morning...what was it where you are? Fortunately we have bright sun and it is helping warm things up. Brrrrrr.

  2. I love all the covers, but the Mexican one really makes me grin.
    "Love That Dog" is one of my favorite books. Thank you for sharing these!

  3. Lori: It was 7 degrees here this morning. Brrr. And the bookshelf just went up last week. I haven't yet figured out how to get all the books on one bookshelf. . .

  4. This is wonderful! Thank you for a glimpse into the different ways your book has been shared with the world.

  5. Hummm. Never realized that as the author you may not have approval as to a book's jacket. Input maybe? Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Sharon, how different it must be to see how different countries want to 'show' a book. That Picasso one, from Mexico, intrigues me.

  7. I love love love both of those books! (and their covers too)

  8. Love the cover; LOVE the book (as do my sixth graders!). Not a cat fan, so I should read Hate That Cat!