By Jory john
Illustrated by Lane Smith
Some time ago I became distracted by a picture book with no title featured on the front cover. Similar to the allure of The book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak, a book without a title is at the very least intriguing. After picking it up and turning it around in my hands, I noticed the title, author, and illustrator were featured prominently. . .on the back of the book. They take up the entire back page.
I have never seen such an extreme example of “letting an illustration speak for itself.” The publishing team allowed it to take place of the title. But I understand why they did it. Why say Penguin Problems when you can let Lane Smith show it? The illustration is:
Penguin Problems reminds me that the presentation of a picture book makes a big difference to potential readers. You must take every step necessary to get a reader to pick up that book in hand, turn it around, and flip a few pages. You can't sell books that no one picks up to begin with.