Judging a book by its cover might be generally frowned upon, but that’s precisely what we’re about to do, and we will go ahead and consider this an exception.
Because what another way to appreciate some of the absolutely mesmerizing children’s book covers?
We have to say, the last couple of years were great for this particular market since so many great children’s books have been published.
If you’re up to the task and planning to dive into this particular market, or just want to have some fun, you can create a book cover by yourself, with Creatopy.
But for now, we’re going to go through some of the most creative kids’ book covers from the last few years and see why they’re so appealing. We have to admit that it was no easy feat to choose the best front covers of children’s books, but we did it, and they are really something.
From whimsical designs with vivid colors to quirky fonts and elegant lines, they’re all a wonder to look at.
What’s also important is that they are not just pretty books, they’re so much more than that. They all tell exciting and captivating stories that are meant to inspire and help children develop emotionally.
We’ll explore each one of them and pay attention to all the lovely details they all encompass. Without further ado, here are some of the best book covers for children:
1. Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’ o
One of the dreamiest book covers for kids, Lupita Nyong’ o’s Sulwe, is brought to life by the fantastic illustrator Vashti Harrison. It’s the depiction of a curious little girl, reaching out to something (or someone), with a celestial background full of glimmering little lights. This cover has depth, color, and it’s nothing short of magical.
2. Dr. Seuss’s Horse Museum by Dr. Seuss and Andrew Joyner
Typical of Dr. Seuss’s style, this book cover uses the same fonts we’re so used to seeing in his books. It’s playful and bold, yet simple and highly legible. No wonder his books are consistently the best-selling children’s books out there. On top of the captivating writing we know and love, the illustrations are something any kid can understand and even relate to.
3. The Yellow Suitcase by Meera Sriram
Featuring an eye-catching children’s book cover design, The Yellow Suitcase is about grief and mourning. Hence the color yellow used both in the title and the illustration. However, it’s not all about one color as the design makes use of others. More vivid colors like green or red and the several patterns used for both the clothing of the little girl and the inside of the suitcase, make this illustration all the more complex and interesting.
4. Don’t Let Them Disappear by Chelsea Clinton
The warm and captivating art by Gianna Marino is perfect for bringing awareness to the many animals that are on the path of extinction. The cover’s depiction of animals from all kinds of climates and the background colored with yellow (heat) and blue (cold) as well as the fade on the font that says “disappear,” these are all just the right kind of elements that make this cover so wholesome.
5. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Marlon Bundo
A watercolor illustration of a happy and very stylish bunny is definitely something that draws the attention of every kid. The use of pastel colors, especially the different shades of green, make this book cover one of the simplest, yet highly appealing designs. And all of this goes pretty well with the story that is sweet and funny at the same time and is dedicated to “every bunny that has ever felt different.”
6. Hey Grandude by Paul McCartney
This cover just screams “adventure”! With the use of a map and a compass, this particular design is meant to depict the many adventures that are told in the book. Not to mention the very appropriate illustration of the cool, hipster grandpa, as the title suggests, surrounded by his grandkids, all watching mesmerized. It’s the different elements present on this book cover that perfectly convey what the book is about–a journey into the many adventures that these protagonists take.
7. A Kite for the Moon by Jane Yolen
Here’s another great children’s book cover design that shows us that not all designs have to be full of as much color as possible to appeal to kids. This one, in particular, is just lovely to watch. Its mysterious but reassuring illustration of a kid with a kite standing in front of a full moon is a reminder of the fact that anything’s possible. Fun fact: this book is actually dedicated to astronaut Neil Armstrong and is meant to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first US moon landing.
8. One Is a Piñata by Roseanne Greenfield Thong
Tradition is at the center of this beautiful book cover illustrated by John Parra, Latino traditions, to be more specific. It has vivid colors, eye-catching details, and diversity, which is represented by the kids dancing and playing around.
9. Parker Looks Up by Parker Curry
Here’s another inspiring book cover. A young girl named Parker (notice that her name is written in the same pink color as her jacket) looks up in admiration at the portrait of former’s First Lady Michelle Obama. It’s a story of hope and dreams, as well as power and inspiration, which is perfectly illustrated with bold colors and font. It’s also worth mentioning that this image is an almost exact replica of the real photo that was taken of Parker when she noticed the portrait.
10. Small in the City by Sydney Smith
A slightly less cheerful and colorful book cover, Small in the City is illustrated in perfect harmony with its title. With the abundance of grey and black, this illustration is a glimpse into the feelings of a little boy who is trying to survive in the big city where everything seems scary.
11. Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry
Among some of the most famous children’s book covers, we find Hair Love that most of us are already familiar with. Inspired by the Oscar-winning short film with the same title, this book cover illustration shows the beauty of being different and proud and empowered by something so simple, yet so stubborn as natural hair. Notice the little heart that dots the i in the title? That’s a really nice touch there.
12. Sleep, Tiny Dreamer by Shanita Allen
The cursive font, the little kid with the eyes closed, the warm colors–all these elements come together perfectly to create a book cover that is nothing short of inspiring. A bedtime story, coupled with this beautiful illustration, is meant to inspire young people to dream big.
13. The Happy Book by Andy Rash
What does happiness look like? Well, check this book cover out. A bubbly font, lots of colors, simple shading, some sunshine, and, most importantly, two smiley faces surrounded by nature with all its butterflies, birds, and colorful flowers. This is a book that shows kids how to find their way on the road towards happiness, and it’s not only thoughtful but also funny.
14. Wild Honey from the Moon by Kenneth Kraegel
An elegant design that kind of leans towards classic with the use of various straight lines and vibrant colors. The font is also a perfect match, given the stylish and almost dancing-like letters. Wild Honey from the Moon is about the various adventures a mother will go through to help her son, and it’s an ode to the strength and courage that comes with motherhood.
15. The Fate of Fausto by Oliver Jeffers
A stunning design of a book cover, the illustration relies on a simple palette of colors and a playful font. Except for the little splashes of red, pink, and yellow, the entire design is based on different shades of blue, which helps us better find the focus, which in this case is the little yellow figure.
16. Just Ask! By Sonia Sotomayor
Another great kids’ story book cover is this lovely one by Sonia Sotomayor. Just look at that title, how it stands out with the letters all painted in different nature patterns. It’s a collection of stunning illustrations that raise awareness of the fact that we’re all unique, and that’s okay. The hopefulness and empathy conveyed in this book are perfectly represented in the cover with its positive and cheerful use of colors and shapes.
17. My Heart by Corinna Luyken
We could say that this resembles a minimalist book cover.
An ode to self-acceptance and love, My Heart is more than just a book. The cover might not be exploding with colors, but it represents a story of kindness and empathy. Add to that a cute, minimalist font, a lovely drawing of a kid bowing down to a flower, and you’ve got yourself a book worth reading for kids. All of the illustrations inside follow the same style—an abundance of grey mixed with yellow and black.
18. My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero
Bright colors and an endearing look of a dad towards his young daughter speak volumes. This lovely illustration, along with its title, gives us a strong hint of what this book is about. And that would be the celebration of love between a daughter and a father, both living in an immigrant neighborhood and having to deal with the different aspects of change.
19. What I Tell Myself FIRST by Michael Brown
This is a classic design, paired with a realistic approach and a combination of warm and cold colors. A smart illustration of the way we are versus the way we see ourselves, hence the mirror. Above anything else, it’s a book about teaching people to love themselves and accept themselves just the way they are, and the book cover works perfectly with this.
20. Elvis Is King by Jonah Winter
Typical of anything Elvis related, this particular cover makes use of everything, from the font written in a sort of neon lights to the signature Elvis hairstyle. There’s no way you’d mistaken this book for something that’s not connected to the king of rock and roll and that’s mainly because of the carefully designed book cover typography.
21. Madame Badobedah by Sophie Dahl
The two characters in this illustration are depicted in a very colorful manner. Rosy-cheeked and wearing brightly colored clothes, the two of them look as cute as they can be. The fonts used for the title, a mix of cursive and classic are very noticeable, given the golden color that they’re written in.
22. Mary Wears What She Wants by Keith Negley
A good children story book cover should be really captivating and intriguing at the same time, and this one is particularly clever. Appropriately matching the title, the illustration shows a young girl strutting proudly in some very stylish pants, to the amazement of everyone seeing her. The book is inspired by Mary Edwards Walker, who in the 19th century was arrested for wearing such an outfit. In essence, this is a book encouraging people to challenge gender and societal norms.
23. The Good Egg by Jory John
Now here’s something that might catch your attention from the get-go with a clever pun and a lovely design. Playing on the well-known phrase “a good egg,” meaning a friendly or old-fashioned way to talk about a good person, the main character of this book is an actual egg, complete with a face, glasses, and limbs. It’s a charming story, perfectly represented in the illustration where the egg is in the center of the cover, surrounded by other fridge items like milk, a banana, and blueberry jam, giving you a hint about the contents of this lovely book.
24. Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug by Jonathan Stutzman
T-Rexes have long been the punchline of every hug joke there is, and this book is focusing on this particular “tiny” aspect (get it?). Featuring a sad little T-Rex in a vintage-like style, this book cover is endearing to the maximum. If you also pay attention to the font, you’ll notice that despite its simplicity, the way the different sizes are used make them a perfect match for what they’re trying to convey.
25. Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise
There’s so much warmth in this book cover! The way the characters and everything around them is embraced by hints of yellow and gold make this a highly attractive cover, giving us insight as to just how lovely it is to be standing around someone who’s telling a story.
26. Fry Bread A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard
This is such a vibrant illustration of a modern Native American family that’s brought closer together by food. This connection between culture and cuisine is accurately represented on the cover with a beautiful illustration that’s both warm and endearing.
27. Tad by Benji Davies
At first glance, you’ll be struck by the vivid colors all around this book cover, but then you’ll probably notice the small tadpole just gazing pensively at the vast unknown. And if this design gave you the impression that this book’s about a lovely tadpole being lonely in a big pond, then you’d be right. The illustrator did a great job finding the right visuals for this book cover.
28. Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly
The illustration style and the particular colors used here give us a hint that this book might be a bit scary. Judging by the big, looming tree behind a lone small girl on a boat, it’s reasonably safe to make this assumption. But more than being a bit scary, the story in this book also deals with adventure and the decision of being brave in the face of the impossible.
29. Where Are You from by Yamile Saied Méndez
This is one of the best children’s book covers as it’s so simple, yet so complex. Just take a look at the title and then at the book cover and judge for yourself if they don’t perfectly match each other. A seemingly simple question like the one posed usually requires a more complex answer. The book encourages pride in one’s heritage, because as the illustration shows, this heritage is the road you’ve walked and that brought you to where you are now.
30. Tomorrow Most Likely by Dave Eggers
My personal favorite book cover so far. The hopefulness of the clear blue sky and the font made to resemble clouds is what instantly makes you pay attention to the rest of the details. Like the kid in gazes at the great unknown, aka the big city that lies ahead, he wonders what the next day will bring along.
Baby Book Covers
Although slightly different than the children’s book covers, we talked about, baby book covers are, in essence, just as lovely and colorful, only a bit more simple.
If you’re looking for some baby book cover ideas to draw inspiration from for your own designs and if you’ve enjoyed looking at the images of children’s book covers we already covered, then you’ll surely enjoy the next ones too:
1. Touch and Read the Baby Bug by Happy Books
Simple depictions of birds and really vivid colors are just what it takes to create an appropriate baby book cover. It’s essential to stick to the basics for this particular category of books.
2. Mello – The Selfish Cat by S.C. Margaret
Here’s another example of a great baby book cover. It features an animal most babies are already used to, and its happy face and curious eyes are perfect for catching their attention.
3. My Mama by Pragya Tomar
This lovely book cover uses only a few colors, but given that they’re bold and cheerful, the illustration immediately becomes appealing. With stunning illustrations and lyrical text, this book is precisely what the book cover hints at–lovely stories about motherly love.
4. Where is the Green Sheep by Judy Horacek and Mem Fox
Sleepy rhymes, coupled with bright illustrations, make for a perfect baby book. The book cover is as simple as they come, with only a few lovely sheep hopping in a field of grass. However, the mystery lies in the colors. All three sheep come in different shades of orange, but the title prompts the reader to look for the green one. A mighty great challenge for kids of all ages, I’d say.
No better way to retain that childhood wonder than to try and see the world through their eyes, and you can do that by setting out to create your own children’s book cover template. It’s a great adventure you can embark on, and there’s nothing more magical than this challenge.
We’re sure you found some inspiration browsing through all these stunning book cover designs, so nothing left to do now than to start creating.
Find a good and compelling idea, start writing, and then focus on the illustrations. Also, try to remember that it’s best to go for simple design and loads of color, and you’re sure to impress your target audience.