Christmas is almost here!! 😀 I’ve decided to do a holiday-themed BBC post. BBC is a meme I started where I feature books with beautiful covers. For this edition, I’ll focus on boxed sets, which are great gifts for book lovers, especially if it’s a boxed set of a series the person loves.
This post is a little late, but there’s still some time left to shop for gifts before Christmas hits!
Wildwood Chronicles by Colin Meloy, illus. by Carson Ellis
cover art by Carson Ellis
What it’s about:
For fans of The Chronicles of Narnia comes the first book in the Wildwood Chronicles, the New York Times bestselling fantasy adventure series by Colin Meloy, lead singer of the Decemberists, and Carson Ellis, acclaimed illustrator of The Mysterious Benedict Society.
In Wildwood, Prue and her friend Curtis uncover a secret world in the midst of violent upheaval—a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions. And what begins as a rescue mission becomes something much greater as the two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of this wilderness. A wilderness the locals call Wildwood.
Wildwood captivates readers with the wonder and thrill of a secret world within the landscape of a modern city. It feels at once firmly steeped in the classics of children’s literature and completely fresh at the same time. The story is told from multiple points of view, and the book features more than eighty illustrations, including six full-color plates, making this an absolutely gorgeous object. (Goodreads)
Why I love the cover: the illustrations
The illustrations are so whimsical. They are what drew me to the book and made me purchase a copy of Wildwood, which I haven’t yet read. They made me think the book would be about fairytales.
I love the combination of images on the books’ covers. They make me curious about the story within. Of the three, the cover of Wildwood Imperium is my favorite. I like that the forest is drawn in the image of a woman lording over the other characters on the cover. She’s quite imposing and I wonder if she’s someone evil. I also like the colors used, especially how the warm and cool colors play off each other.
I love that the cover illustrations are continued in the design for the box, starting with the spine of the books, which is also illustrated, and continuing onto the box itself which is illustrated in the form of silhouettes. That’s pretty cool. Together — with the books inside the box — the presentation is very appealing.
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
cover art by Kazu Kibuishi
What’s it about:
Everyone is familiar with the story by now: A young orphan boy learns he’s special and goes off to magic school to have crazy adventures.
Why I lover the cover: the illustrations, the colors, the moments Kibuishi chose to highlight, the overall composition
Kazu Kibuishi illustrated the 15th-anniversary covers for the Harry Potter series. They are my favorites. I love Kibuishi’s illustration style and color choices for the covers. Of the seven, my favorites are the cover for the first book — love the colors used, the packed street with buildings crowding in to indicate Diagon Alley, and Hagrid’s presence to help highlight Harry — and the cover for the second book, which I probably love a teensy bit more because I love the color used for the sky and how it contrasts with the green below and love even more that we get an illustration of the Burrow.
The box containing the books is also beautiful. When placed together, the books’ spines form a lake-view of Hogwarts. Meanwhile, the front and sides of the box show us Hogsmeade during winter. I love these images from the story and I think Kibuishi did a great job choosing the right moments to portray on the books’ covers and the box. The colors he selects suffuses the images with warmth and comfort, which makes me nostalgic for the story and want to reread the books.
Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
The Final Empire
The Well of Ascension
The Hero of Ages
cover art by Sam Green
What’s it about:
In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more?
In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage — Allomancy, a magic of the metals. (Goodreads)
Why I love the cover: the illustration style
My gosh! These are some of my favorite book covers. I love Green’s designs for Sanderson’s Mistborn books! I love the wispiness of the illustrations and that the images seem to blend in and out of each other. I also like how minimalist the color palate and overall design is. It gives the books a sharp, clean look and makes them stand out on my bookselves.
The image on the box is the same as the cover of the first book, but despite that, or because of it, I like the design of the box. The minimalism of the overall design emphasizes the compactness of the box, and when placed on my bookshelf, this boxed set provides a break in the riot of colors.
Bill Hodges trilogy by Stephen King
End of Watch
What’s it about:
In a high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands….
In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.
In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.
Brady Hartsfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with two new, unusual allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.
Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable. (Goodreads)
Why I love the cover: evil smiley-face
When I found this while searching for boxed sets to feature, I had to include it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find who the illustrator/designer is or photos of the individual books that I could include in this post. I’ve found photos of covers that have a similar splatter effect on them, but they don’t seem to be the same as those included in the box.
Since this is a Stephen King story, I believe it’s gruesome in some parts and the design of the box hints at that. I like the blood splatter effect, especially at the top of the books’ spines where the red of the box seems to roll down onto the white of the books; but what I like the most is the smiley-face. I’ve never read the books, so I don’t know what it signifies, but it stands out to me because I don’t expect to see such an evil smiley-face on a book spine.
What You Do Matters trilogy by Kobi Yamada, illus. by Mae Besom
What Do You Do with an Idea?
What Do You Do with a Problem?
What Do You Do with a Chance?
cover art by Mae Besom
What’s it about:
Discover the amazing things that happen when you nurture your bright ideas, face your problems, and take bold chances. This collection features all three books in the award-winning, New York Times best-selling What Do You Do With…? book series. The beautiful keepsake box features new and original illustrations from Mae Besom with gold foil and imagery from all three books. (Goodreads)
Why I love the cover: the illustration
I saw this boxed set in the book store and immediately fell in love with it. It was all wrapped in plastic, so I was unable to see the illustrations in the books, but I love the cover designs of the books and both love and appreciate the design of the box. I love that it looks like a pencil drawing and that the illustrations surround the title in the middle. Because of the limited color palette, the gold-leaf title really stood out when I saw the box on the shelf. I was so tempted to buy it!
Well, that’s it for BBC: Boxed Sets.
I hope you found here an idea or two for your gift giving.
Happy Holidays! 🙂