Children's Cover Award Shortlist

Georgina Bishop – University Hertfordshire

Georgina Bishop's cover design of 'Talking Turkeys'

The key idea around this book cover design was to make it fun! I wanted the cover to draw young people in to make them want to read poetry, in the same way that Benjamin Zephaniah does. As I feel that Benjamin was able to create poetry not only for young people but for all generations with different backgrounds to relate to. I wanted my design to create a vibrant atmosphere that would represent the poems. I chose to play on neon signs to give a young atmosphere. I also feel that it adds a connection to poetry slam where people would all come together in bars and spaces to express themselves to others.

Aphra Blunt – University of Dundee

Aphra Blunt's cover design of 'Talking Turkeys'

Benjamin Zephaniah’s poems enter with a bang. To create similar impact in my design, I used the imagery of a turkey bursting through a doorway – powerful and ready to challenge the reader, but with a playful twist. Taking inspiration from superhero posters – a genre popular with the age range and linking to the book’s own themes of heroism – I gave the turkey a bold stance, reinforced by a vibrant, Reggae inspired colour scheme. His shadow stretches down behind the title, hinting at more to come and implying, like the poems, that one turkey (or person’s) potential is bigger than they know.

Sebastiano Fossali – University of Dundee

Sebastiano Fossali's cover design of 'Talking Turkeys'

The cover is designed to represent the originality of the book while making it accessible to a wider audience. Hence, the position of the three turkeys is to highlight the sense of community and solidarity expressed in the poems. Additionally, the characters use symbols and signs to convey a message of peace and inclusivity (rainbow arm) enhanced by the musicality of poetry and the strength of words (trumpet and megaphone). Finally, I linked the front with the back by adding a turkey on a flying rainbow-pen so as to illustrate the power of the message that comes from the author’s writing.

Leanne Goodall – Robert Gordon University

Leanne Goodall's cover design of 'Talking Turkeys'

My design portrays a fun, wacky vibe that reflects the author’s Reggae style. I wanted to capture the rhythm and personality of the poems in a way that appeals to both children and adults, projecting subtle nuances to the true meaning and metaphorical aspects behind Benjamin Zephaniah’s work. The design is inspired by the sense of community and inclusion within an urban lifestyle and influenced by Zephaniah’s unique storytelling techniques. I chose to express a vibrant complementary colour palette that is unique and draws audiences in, reflecting the fun, energetic and vibrant contents of the book.

Matthew Kam – ArtCenter College of Design, USA

Matthew Kam's cover design of 'Talking Turkeys'

The word play in the title Talking Turkeys sets the tone perfectly, the language of the book is fun while the messages are serious. Zephaniah’s straight-talking poems playfully made me think twice, and I felt it is important that the design does the same. In this cover, what appears to be a speech bubble entices a reader to dig a little deeper, and entertains them for doing so. This is to visually mirror what Zephaniah achieves so brilliantly with his words.

Mason Latter – Coventry University

Mason Latter's cover design of 'Talking Turkeys'

My design was inspired by Benjamin Zephaniah’s history, and how it influenced his poetry. His aim to share his own life lessons to a children’s audience, reminded me of story time in pre-school. I have tried to replicate this within the front cover illustrations, illustrating Zephaniah as the turkey, reading aloud his stories. Additionally, my illustrations try to capture the playful nature and hip-hop language Zephaniah uses, as well as hinting towards his Rastafarian culture throughout the colour palette.

Joe Learmonth – Glasgow School of Art

Joe Learmonth's cover design of 'Talking Turkeys'

Zephaniah’s voice comes across really strongly in his prose, so I felt it was important to have his presence on the cover. Because I wanted to reflect his playful way of seeing the world, I drew his eyes as colourful concentric circles, which also work as a possible window into his imagination and mind. My design was partially influenced by 50s, 60s and 70s childrens’ food design, which often used playful cartoons and animal mascots to appeal to kids. I was thinking about how a theme of Talking Turkeys is food and veganism, and it reflects an alternative message to the adverts and packaging I had been looking at. So I went for a design that references this era visually, but also has an unusual, unexpected element - like Zephaniah’s poetry.

Haryung Lee – Loughborough University

Haryung Lee's cover design of 'Talking Turkeys'

I wanted my cover design to reflect the poems' tone of voice like the author conveyed his ideas simply but effectively in a straightforward and humorous manner. From the self-titled Talking Turkeys, the two lines – 'Turkeys just wanna play reggae / Turkeys just wanna hip-hop' hugely inspired my design. Based on these lines, I wanted to design a DJ turkey character talking on the microphone whilst appearing fun and playful. The dark colour background was chosen to make the turkey character bold and outstanding, and I used hand-drawn texture for illustration and typography to give the conversational style.

Amanda Rizqi Nursidin – Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia

Amanda Rizqi Nursidin's cover design of 'Talking Turkeys'

This cover design sets the turkey as the main focus. This design visualises the journey of the turkey as it stands up for its freedom of not being eaten and able to enjoy Christmas as humans do. The colours are vibrant so that it is attractive for childrens. I use a cheerful, lively, and silly visual style that manifest how talkative this turkey is on the poet.

Connor Ridley – York St John University

Connor Ridley's cover design of 'Talking Turkeys'

The concept behind this design is inspired by the hidden messages behind each of Benjamin’s poems. As each poem aims to hide a greater meaning, I aimed to replicate this through representing each poem through a simplistic illustration. These illustrations, seeming charming and creative, would draw the audience in but, as the reader delves deeper through the book, they discover the meaning behind each artwork, prompting the audience to read more, to understand all the illustrations presented on the book.

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