When I first saw the cover for Andrea Seigel’s The Kid Table, I laughed. It was a good laugh.
I love it when the publishing industry realizes that a message on a cover can be simple, and that oftentimes, less is more. My brain didn’t have to go into overdrive when I first saw this cover. I was immediately taken in by the clean, contemporary feel of the lowercase and sans serif type. I absolutely love the hue — if Emily Giffin’s Love the One You’re With cover was one nationality and Something Borrowed was another, The Kid Table would be its little biracial cover baby. And come on now, everyone knows biracial babies are beautiful.
But the reason that I laughed? That fork, and the mac and cheese. (Ok, so it also made me a little hungry)
If a cover can tell an entire story all by itself in very few elements, it’s accomplished a lot already on the front end. The Kid Table does just that. The entire premise of the story is also carried on that very same fork. While the notion of a “kid table” separating the littles from the bigs seems juvenile, this idea is handled in a very “adult” way, if that makes any sense. If I saw this cover over in the adult fiction section of my library or bookstore, I wouldn’t bat an eye. In this respect, The Kid Table’s cover designer has produced a look that’s lighthearted and sweet, but its simplicity alludes to something with much more depth.
This cover conveys a tone that’s in limbo, an interesting middle ground that’s set halfway between sweet and serious. After browsing Andrea Seigel’s blog, I discovered an earlier edition of the cover which has a completely different tone. Seigel’s reaction is priceless. (And OMG, Bloomsbury, THANK YOU for not going with that cover)
Side note: The other day I was in a store purchasing some plastic utensils and noticed that they actually have fancy looking CHEAP PLASTIC utensils. I kid you not. They’re silver and shiny and at first glance, you can’t even tell the difference. Next time I’m hosting a get together and I’m too lazy to wash dishes, I’m buying a few boxes of ’em. And they’re going to be for everyone, not just the kid table.