Ms Walker’s weeding rounds have made their way to the 567s – or, prehistoric life. This perennially popular section needed a little refresh, so a number of older books were culled. (There were even some books that were probably in Ms Walker’s own elementary school library!)
Having combed over a couple of hundred books, Ms Walker begins to question the choices for cover art. Are dinosaurs really that hard to draw? How does a publisher decide what to put on a cover?
Why, for example, does this raptor look so…
crazy enthusiastic about eating dragonflies?
Moreover, one can only imagine the discussion going down at the boardroom of Troll Associates (*chortle*) back in 1989 when it came time to design the cover for Life After the Dinosaurs.
Head Troll: Alright team, Life After the Dinosaurs is ready to go to the printers. We just need something to go on the cover. Any ideas? We can’t have dinosaurs. That would be too confusing.
Junior Troll: Well… how about something that came after the dinosaurs? Maybe?
Head Troll: I like it, I like it. But… what?
Junior Troll: Um, an ostrich?
Head Troll: Genius! Absolutely brilliant. An ostrich! I love it.
Artist: I can do an ostrich. Ostriches are my specialty.
Junior Troll: This is perfect!
Head Troll: Only problem is… an ostrich on the cover is going to look a lot like our last book, Ostriches I Have Known.
Junior Troll: Good point.
Artist: But what if I put, like,some mammoths and a saber-toothed tiger in the background, and make the ostrich stand in front of a giant Tyrannosaurus skull! That would clarify that these are animals that came after the dinosaurs.
Head Troll: Brilliant. Let’s go team! No time to waste!