When I work on a book project I usually pull out 3 or 4 books from my picture book collection and have them on my desk to page through for inspiration when I need it. I have had “Be a Tree” by Maria Gianferrari and Felicita Sala on my desk for the past 2 months and picked it up every now and then to look at the beautiful art.  Last Thursday I took it to bed with me to read as I hadn’t read it since I first bought it, probably over a year ago.

I started reading and then removed the dust cover so I wouldn’t damage it. The dust cover (or book jacket) is the paper cover over the hard cover. These often get torn edges if I don’t remove them while reading the book, and that makes me sad. So I removed the dust cover, and there it was! The most beautiful surprise book cover tucked under the jacket!

Dust cover – Be a Tree by Maria Gianferrari and Felicita Sala
Under the dust cover – Be a Tree by Maria Gianferrari and Felicita Sala

I am sure I would have looked under the dust cover when I first got the book, but I must have since forgotten about it, because I was genuinely, pleasantly surprised. What a treat! It’s actually a spread from inside, but it is so striking on the cover without text or a title, just the clean white space.

This prompted me to scour through my collection of over 60 picture books, for other hidden covers I may have missed or forgotten about. Most of my books with dust jackets have repeated the same front and back on the hard cover, but I did find two more gems to show you that have something special underneath:

“My Heart” by Corinna Luyken

Dust cover – My Heart by Corinna Luyken
Under the dust cover – My Heart by Corinna Luyken

“The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots” by Beatrix Potter and Quentin Blake.

Dust cover – The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter and Quentin Blake
Under the dust cover – The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter and Quentin Blake

Don’t you just love a surprise under-cover treat!

Favourite Picture Books – Dust Jackets and Surprise Covers

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