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Máire Fisher

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Birds – in and on Books

Last week was really and truly and very exciting: seeing the beautiful cover of Birdseye for the first time. The story revolves around a little girl called Bird, and gives her bird’s-eye view of the world. Jacques Kaiser, the graphic designer, chose an aerial view of an antique bird’s cage and placed Bird in the very centre of it. He then chose other images which tie into the story. His beautiful work has sent me on a bit of a journey, to look at the covers of novels about or connected to birds. Or, indeed with characters named Bird (or even Byrd) in them. There’s no shortage of beautiful work to choose from. I’ve narrowed my favourites down to the selection below.

Some of these are books I’ve read, others are ones I don’t know at all. Some of them had more than one version of a cover, and in this instance I simply went for the cover I liked the best. I found it very difficult to find the artist’s details for some of them, which is a great pity as I really do feel that the graphic designers should be acknowledged. If anyone does have those particulars, I’d be very grateful to be able to add them to this post! (Or indeed, let me know if I have attributed anything incorrectly.)

So, here’s my gut-reaction, yes-I’d-definitely-pick-this-book-up-and-look-inside-it choice of beautiful bird-based covers.

I’ve tried to centre all of these pics, but some of them keep flying off to the left. That’s birds for you I suppose. They don’t like to be caged.

it took ages to track this book designer down. Her name is Emily Burns. Isn't this a great cover!

It took ages to track this book designer down. Her name is Emily Burns. Isn’t this a great cover!

I love the feeling of looking through ice here. Cover design; David Baldeosingh Rotstein; cover photo Mike Lee

I love the feeling of looking through ice here. Cover design; David Baldeosingh Rotstein; cover photo Mike Lee

shoe bird
Two beautiful covers. I'm presuming that the cover art is also by the illustrator, Beth Krush, but I couldn't find the name of the cover designer.
Two beautiful covers. I’m presuming that the cover art is also by the illustrator, Beth Krush, but I couldn’t find the name of the cover designer.


“Years later, on my birthday, a talented artist named Mary Sherman gave me a drawing I admired in her sketchbook. She’d written some words around the edge that were almost illegible, Termite, something, something, something. She ripped out the page and gave it to me. The drawing became the image of Termite, because my actual memory of the real boy was almost a spiritual impression.”   Jayne Anne Phillips

I couldn’t find the name of the book designer or artist for this cover.

 

Such delicate work here., The artist's name is Ilsa Brink.

Such delicate work here. The artist’s name is Ilsa Brink.

I love the drama of this cover. Design and illustrations by Liam Relph & Michael Salu

I love the drama of this cover. Design and illustrations by Liam Relph & Michael Salu

The cover art here is by John Collier.

The cover art here is by John Collier.

How's this for a bird-beautiful cover! By Jason Booher, who designs book covers as well as other things ...

How’s this for a bird-beautiful cover! By Jason Booher, who designs book covers as well as other things …

All the illustrations in this little gem are by Early Masters of Bird Art (Wesleyan University Press, 2010), but I couldn’t find the name of the individual artist for this cover.

delicate edible birds
I love these two covers. The first is designed by  Shubani Sarkar , I couldn't find details for the second cover.

I love these two covers. This one is designed by Shubani Sarkar, I couldn’t find details for the other.

plague of doves 2

Hard to choose which of these two covers I like the most. This one is designed by Fritz Metsch.

And this cover is by Aza Erdrich, Louise Erdrich’s daughter.

A birdcage for Bird - a delicately beautiful composition by  graphic designer Jacques Kaiser

And then, there’s this: A birdcage for Bird – a delicately beautiful composition by graphic designer Jacques Kaiser

 

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