Submitter: May I present to you the 1995 cover of a children’s book about Hawaii, from Lerner Publications’ Hello USA series, discovered while weeding my long-neglected States books collection at my branch library today.
There are so many things to love about this cover, the first being that it was picked to represent Hawaii in the first place. No cliched palm trees or hula dancers here! Nothing says “paradise” like white tourists bundled up in sweatshirts and blankets as if this were a fall day on Nantucket, am I right? Not to mention that one of the girls has her eyes closed, poor thing, immortalized forever on a book cover.
You have to wonder if there was really no better choice. At first I thought maybe some publishing bigwig insisted on using his family’s photo from a recent trip. But the copy on the t.p. verso reads, “Cover photograph of tourists on a Hawaiian beach in December courtesy of Independent Picture Service.” Someone paid real money for this picture!
Needless to say, I didn’t even have to check the circulation before I chucked this one from the shelves – but when I did, surprise surprise, it hadn’t caught any kid’s eye in ages. 🙂
Holly: They did update this cover in 2001 to a much nicer picture – an erupting volcano and a postcard of a lovely sunny beach (no people). This one, that you have submitted, could as easily be on the cover of a book about Michigan! Lake Superior in July or Waikiki in December? You decide.