The Girl with a Brave Heart

When a new baby arrives, we fall in love with all of their perfect little details. We count their tiny fingers and toes, coo over their perfect little lashes, and smooch the chubby rolls of baby fat on their arms and legs. It’s no different when our book babies first arrive in the Barefoot Books offices!The first advance copies of The Girl with a Brave Heart: A Tale from Tehran, our first new title of 2013, arrived in our offices recently. Few things are more exciting for an editor than the stork FedEx guy delivering a brand-new book baby!

The Girl with a Brave Heart is a gorgeous picture book that was originally published in Israel. The author, Rita Jahanforuz, is an Iranian-born Israeli pop megastar. She was inspired by a story her mother used to tell her during her childhood in Iran to write her first children’s book, which is lushly illustrated by Romanian-born Israeli artist Vali Mintzi.

The text of this story is unforgettable, and the illustrations are alive with colour and movement. But when we lifted those first few books out of their brown paper wrappers, our eyes went straight to the little details.

The luscious gold foil on the cover.

The rich gold endpapers, and how beautiful they look against the bit of front cover that wraps around the hardback case cover.

The tiny gold spine feet. I think we even counted the toes!

And even the little gold bird soaring across the back cover.

For the editorial team, it’s all about the details! US Editor Jessica and I often take bookstore field trips to see what’s new on the market, and I’ve noticed we always do the same thing. If we see a book we like, we check out the front cover, then flip it over and look at the back cover, then scrutinize at the spine, then the endpapers, then the copyright page…We just love to see the choices other editors have made in creating their products.

We take care to craft each of our books with great care and attention for detail. Some of my favourite little details in our books include:

  • The tiny snowflakes on the inside cover of The Snow Queen
  • The silky green ribbon and embossed gold lettering (and spine feet!) on The Barefoot Book of Fairy Tales
  • The subtle change in the endpapers from the front of the book to the back of the book in My Mama Earth and the hardback edition of Ruby’s Sleepover
  • The characters hidden under the front flap of the Monster Stories and Animal Stories books
  • The jaunty crab tipping his hat on the sticker of the paperback enhanced CD edition of Magic Train Ride
  • The way the gold foil reads out of the deep maroon spine of Robin Hood (I’m a sucker for gold foil!)
  • The perfectly patterned spine of The Kite Princess
  • The spot glossing on the cover of Lin Yi’s Lantern. Look closely—the title lettering and the illustration of Lin Yi are shiny, while the rest of the cover is matte.
  • The way illustrator Micha Archer designed the Barefoot Books logo into the back cover of The Wise Fool
  • The subtle green overlay on the flaps of Finn at Clee Point
  • The folio décor (aka little pictures around the page numbers) in the paperback edition of The Adventures of Achilles. The classics scholar in me couldn’t help but pick different pictures for each chapter that reflect the major theme of the chapter. Nerd alert!

What are some of your favourite details in our books?

Find all the books mentioned above on our website!

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