This is the cover of the book Meanwhile by Jason Shiga.
I love this cover. I think that it does such a great job of conveying the idea of there being multiple choices and paths throughout the book without being overwhelming. It also works well with the title, since the images aren’t really aligned sequentially at all, so it’s easy to read them happening at overlapping times. The character in the middle ties it all together, keeping the cover from being too visually busy, and again helping to convey that there is a lot going on and he needs your help!
Books where the reader gets to make choices and direct the story are so much fun, but it’s hard to convey the concept on the cover. Most cover designers never even try – they just put a regular cover with an illustration of a scene from the book and the title, series and author information. This one, however, manages to have all the required information on the cover and convey the style the book is in at the same time. Since this is a children’s book, it’s even more likely that the readers who come across the book are going to be unfamiliar with this type of book, so the fact that it’s somewhat evident from the cover what the general idea is helps a lot. It’s also bright and the art style is unique and eye-catching (it’s not a style we see often on book covers).
As a cover, I think this works great. It tells you about the book and about the experience of reading the book – both important pieces of information. It also grabs your attention right away and makes you wonder what’s going on (I certainly want to know what’s happing in some of those little pictures!). As marketing for this book, I think this cover is fantastic. The “Choose Your Own Adventure” series and others like it could learn a lot from this cover!