Hey, Robert.I think it would work better if it were:A)focused on the viewer, making eye contact, and B)if the creature/character were less grotesque but more mysterious, coming out of the shadows, leaving much of the yuckiness to the viewer's imagination. Veiled but implied creepiness is very effective.Eric
Hi, Robert. Well, it's horrifying. I'm far detached from middle grade sensibilities these days, but is this the kind of cover one is likely to find in the middle school library? At that age, it's as much about not turning off parents/teachers/librarians as it is attracting the eyes of the kids, isn't it?Personally, I wouldn't want anything quite that creepy staring out of my kid's bookshelves, but then, neither would he--especially not back at that age.That said, if you think it will sell books, I say go for it.Best,Johnwww.johngilstrap.com
11-year old Kerry says: If stuff was too happy around me and I needed some scary, I'd pick up a book with this on the cover. Or if I was feeling mad or on the down side. Or if people in my class had like this, I'd pick it up. 13-year old Christina says, "Oooo. Not my thing." From Martha's grandkids
Martha, Thanks... actually the kid's comments are in sync with professional opines. Girls are definitely "punting" on this one, (most readers at this level are girls), and boys would give it a go... LOL, the story itself, is several octaves gentler than the cover - but you need a carnival barker to get 'em inside the geek tent!Haste yee back ;-) a.k.a. CorkyMartha, I appreciate your time and trouble on my behalf, 'twas nice of you.
It's a bit too scary for me! As a mom, I probably wouldn't pick it up. On the other hand, it is really cool looking, and I can imagine my older boy being interested in it (but the younger ones scared). Maybe that works better as an interior illustration... or a little smaller, more in shadow.... I know a lot of moms buy the books for readers at this age, so just be careful of freaking us out TOO much. :)
I agree that it's a bit too much, and that implied creepiness rather than outright creepiness is very, very effective, especially for this age group. My son (who is 7 and just beginning to read middle grade) would be too freaked out by it, I think.Eric had some good ideas that might be worth exploring.Good luck with it!
Tara, Ishta... thanks for your opinions. I'm really trying for the upper end of Middle Grade. Research indicates boys quit reading at YA, maybe I can catch a few stragglers, LOL!Haste yee back ;-)