An Amazing Assignment

When illustrator Sarah J. Coleman was hired to create a new cover for a 50th anniversary edition of To Kill A Mockingbird she was both thrilled and terrified. She describes the process on her blog, but the result speaks for itself.

For me the most poignant moments are those when the feared Boo Radley leaves his little gifts for Scout and Jem hidden in the tree, especially the tiny figurines of the children. That needed to be central to the image and in the end, it literally does form ‘the spine’ of the book. The other elements were Scout’s tomboy clothing and the trees (forming play areas and hiding places), and, since I’ve been working with silhouettes a lot recently, a nod to the work of American artist Kara Walker, whose work frames themes relevant to the book such as race, history, narrative, power and shame.


0 thoughts on “An Amazing Assignment

  1. renee

    Mockingbird is my favorite book and this is probably because I was about Scout’s age when I read it for the first time 50 years ago, hidden away in a bedroom at my grandmother’s house where I used to spend my summers. Jem and Dill mirrored my summertime playmates almost to a tee. Even now, so many summers later, each time I pick up Mockingbird I can crawl into Scout’s skin and once again be that 10 year old ragamuffin with dirty playclothes, hair cut short and wearing keds. Thank you Sarah J. Coleman for creating the perfect cover for this masterpiece. I know it’s perfect because each time I look at your Scout I get that feeling in my throat that tells me the 10 year old wearing the dungarees and puffy sleeved blouse gazing at the mockingbird in the tree is really me.