Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Judge A Book by Its Cover - The Mysterious Benedict Society

For this edition of Judge a Book by Its Cover, I'm comparing the covers of one of my old favorites, The Mysterious Benedict Society. Click for larger versions of any of the covers.

Summary (from Goodreads):
"Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?"

When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear reader, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.

As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their new found friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?

Welcome to the Mysterious Benedict Society.




4. Indonesian Edition 
(I believe this cover is used for English versions as well, although I might be mistaken)

When this book was randomly picked, I had no idea all of the covers were going to be so good. But they really are - I don't see any of them that I strongly dislike at first, or even second glance.

The first cover is the one I have at home, so it's the cover I am immediately biased toward. I like that it clearly shows every character doing what they're best at. Kate is hauling herself up the tree, Sticky has a book in his hand, Reynie is looking out for everyone, and Constance is.... well, being Constance. The silhouette of Mr. Benedict is in the window, and the illustration matches those inside the book. I think this cover best matches the overall feel of the book, as covers 2 and 4 seem a little bit darker than I would have expected. In cover No. 1, there is clearly an air of mystery, with the unknown people looking out from inside the house and the smoke forming question marks, but there is also a sense of lightheartedness that matches this book, as it is MG. I also like the references that one would only understand once they've read the book, such as the chess-piece topiary or the library.

The second cover confused me a bit. It looks like a great MG novel, but not The Mysterious Benedict Society. I have no idea who anyone is on the cover, I don't know why they're in a castle, and the entire cover seems a little too dark for Mysterious Benedict. So although I would most likely pick the book up in a store, I wouldn't expect it to be The Mysterious Benedict Society. That said, I do like the cover design. Everything works very well together. But again, I have no idea what anything on the cover has to do with the story inside.

The third cover is much darker than I would expect for this book. Although I really like the design on it, especially the curlicues on the gate and the shield-shaped block for the title. I also really like the color scheme. But for me, it doesn't work for this book.

I like the fourth cover because it is so bright and fun. This cover would definitely appeal to the younger MG crowd. I like that all the characters look like their counterparts in the interior illustration, since it's always so annoying when a character looks different on the cover than everywhere else in the book. The bright colors are eye-catching, and the scene on the cover, although not an identifiable scene in the book, definitely could be.

My Favorite: No. 1.
My least favorite: I can't really call this my least favorite, but the one I think least fits the book is No. 3.

Which is your favorite? Judge this book by its cover!

Want to suggest a book for Judge A Book by Its Cover? Click Here for the form!


Ray said...

I like the fourth one the best although I am partial to the first one because that's the one that I have. I agree that the other two covers are very dark and way too mysterious for a children's book. I love the idea of looking at different covers. How did you find the ones from other countries?

Pica said...

The different editions are all listed on Goodreads, and then I Google Image search to try to find the best quality pictures. I'm glad you're enjoying Judge A Book.


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