IVP - Behind the Books - Mama Loves All Her Babies the Same

February 21, 2013

Mama Loves All Her Babies the Same

One of the struggles I have when blogging about books here is my fear of appearing to favor some IVP titles over others. I have quite the opposite problem from that of another colleague in book publishing: the incomparable Bridget Jones.

The eponymous heroine of Helen Fielding's novel, Bridget Jones's Diary (and of Sharon Maguire's film) started out in the publishing business, and as I was rereading the book recently, I cackled with particular glee when Bridget is asked by the intimidating Mark Darcy whether she's "read any good books lately?":

I racked my brain frantically to think when I last read a proper book. The trouble with working in publishing is that reading in your spare time is a bit like being a dustman and snuffling through the pig bin in the evening.1

Bridget is as characteristically frank and funny as always here, but I must say that my own experience couldn't be more different. Working in publishing, I'm not beset by a garbageman's piles of trash. It's more like working in a professional kitchen and having plate after plate of delicious food pass through my hands all day.

Which brings me back to the subject of favoritism. With so much yummy food piled high on the buffet tables filling IVP's warehouse (not literally; stay with me), how can I do much more than pick a few favorites and dig into those? I've already tried to make clear that these posts at "Behind the Books" represent nothing but my personal point of view. Nevertheless, I confess that I'm still worried.

For example, I really want to give you a sneak peek at what I think is a delightful cover design of one of our not-yet-released titles, Holy Is the Day — but will you think that by singling this one out, I'm suggesting that all the other covers aren't just as delightful? Sigh. I'm just going to have to get over it and take cover under that honorable assertion of mothers down through the ages when confronted by sibling rivalry: Mama loves all her babies the same.

So here's a nice high-resolution view of the cover designed by our art director, Cindy Kiple, for Carolyn Weber's forthcoming IVP Crescendo title:

Carolyn Weber, Holy Is the Day

Not bad, huh? The sparely monastic plaster of the wall. The use of what might be a thrift-store cast-off to invoke the radiance of a halo in the tradition of iconography. The concreteness of its being specifically 4:19 that will have to be holy if "holy is the day." The humility of lowercase type for the title. I don't know where to stop.

Out of curiosity (and admiration), I asked Cindy for a few words about this cover, in particular whether she'd shot the image herself or whether it was a stock photo:

You're right that it is a stock image. There were so many things about this image that felt right for this title to me, though maybe hard to verbalize. The simple yet beautiful design of the clock. It looks like a star, it looks like a halo. It looks like something exciting is happening. Even the fact that it is a retro look speaks to the timelessness of the "present" in the subtitle.

I don't know whether Cindy is more pleased with this cover than any of her others, but I suspect she too would say that Mama loves all her babies the same. But I bet we can all agree with her that "something exciting is happening" on this cover — and once we release the book, inside it, too.

1 Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones's Diary (London: Picador, 1996; first electronic edition, New York: Viking, 2001), 22.9 / 416.

Posted by Jon Boyd at February 21, 2013 9:18 AM Bookmark and Share


Mama doesn't love all her babies just the same, if she's a wise mama. She loves all her babies differently and for different reasons, and I think it's cool for you to single out different books (or covers) and let them shine for the unique reasons that they shine.

Fear not! We all need to grow to the point where we realize that your passionate and vocal love for book X does not preclude a passionate and as yet unvocalized love for book Y - which is NOT the same and should not BE the same. I love this cover - it's beautiful and you do a great job explaining its beauty and appropriateness. It doesn't make me wonder why you don't love cover Z as much - in fact it makes me want to look more closely at cover Z to see what I might be missing.

Comment by: kelly at February 21, 2013 10:44 AM

What is the significance of 4:19? Is it like the LOST numbers? Maybe it's the time something important happened. Or maybe it's an allusion to 4/19, April 19, when the Oklahoma City bombing happened (1995) or when Cardinal Ratzinger became pope (2005). Or is it a reference to Philippians 4:19 ("God will meet all your needs") or Matthew 4:19 ("Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men")?

Comment by: Al Hsu at February 21, 2013 11:30 AM

Al, I'm going to go with Philippians 4:19 ("God will meet all your needs"). And I'm even going to claim that I did it on purpose.

Comment by: Cindy Kiple at February 21, 2013 11:40 AM

Kelly: Thanks for your wise encouragement. You've put it better than I could have.

Al: Yes! I'm with Cindy. ;) But don't forget the date that McVeigh was so ill-advisedly trying to commemorate: the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

Cindy: Are there other covers with clocks on them that we should be scrutinizing for hidden messages from you?

Comment by: Jon at February 21, 2013 12:04 PM

As to the hidden messages of the time: take note of the fact there are 24 carrots arranged radially around the clock; they represent the twelve apostles and twelve tribes of Israel. They're carrots because carrots are full of vitamin A which helps your eyesight, your seeing. And by pointing outwards away from the clock they are proclaiming you shouldn't carrot-all about the deeper meaning of the numbers; you should look outwards instead.

Boy, I miss college art critiques.

Comment by: kelly at February 26, 2013 10:21 AM

Ha! Love it, Kelly. :)

Comment by: Jon Boyd at February 28, 2013 11:46 AM

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