Saturday, April 28, 2012

Shelf Candy Saturday #17: National Velvet, by Enid Bagnold

This wonderful book meme/blog hop
is hosted by

Stephanie @

The purpose of this feature is to display
a beautiful book cover,
with information, if available,
about the cover illustrator,
photographer, and/or designer.

For all the participation rules,
just click

Here's my pick for this week!

Paperback, 246 pages
(an imprint of Egmont
Children's Books Limited)
(originally published in 1935)
Genre: Horse Fiction, YA

Why do I love this cover?

Well, first of all, I love horses!  ( I guess that's pretty obvious by  I first started reading books about them around the age of 11 or 12, and, for several years thereafter, I devoured every horse-related novel I came across!  I not only read National Velvet, but also most of The Black Stallion books, by Walter Farley, Man O'War, also by Walter Farley, the Flicka trilogy (My Friend Flicka, Thunderhead, Green Grass of Wyoming), by Mary O'Hara, King of the Wind, by Marguerite Henry, and many other assorted horse stories.

Next, I think the horse on this cover is superbly painted!  He has a beautiful profile, with all those delicately shaded areas.  His nose looks so soft...I feel as if I could almost touch it, and can even imagine him softly snorting, as he stands next to his owner, Velvet.  Oh, I want to pet him so badly...

His mane is stirred by a strong breeze, and this is echoed in Velvet's hair.  They're both looking toward the sunset, or is it the dawn?  This is not only very realistic, but also tells me that horse and rider are united in the pursuit of one goal.  The cover symbolically depicts this, adding to my admiration of this artist's skill!

Velvet, the main character in this book, calls her horse "The Pie", because he's a piebald.  According to Wikipedia, a piebald can be any animal "...that has a spotting pattern of large unpigmented, usually white, areas of hair, feathers, or scales and normally pigmented patches, generally black."  If you take a look at the left-hand edge of this cover, you'll see that the horse has dark patches along his neck.  I'm glad the artist didn't place any patches on his face, though.  I think it looks so beautiful as it is -- just plain white!

The artist who created this
gorgeous cover is

You can see many of his
paintings at the link above.
I tried to find this particular
book illustration, with more information
on how it was created,
but was unable to.
I did find another site with
other book illustrations by
Chapman, but am wondering if
this is the same person.
You can find those illustrations

You can access Chapman's
website HERE.

So what do you think 
of this cover?
What beautiful cover(s) 
are you featuring this week?


  1. This is a great pic, the cover is cute and I enjoyed it. I like horses too!

    1. Thank you, Kimba!! Yes, this is a cute cover! Glad you like it, and that you like horses, too!! : )

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, roro!! Yes, I LOVE this cover!! I sure wish I had a BEAUTIFUL horse like this....sigh....

  3. Isn't this just the perfect example of beautiful illustration. Every detail in the horses face, the hair blowing in the wind, the clouds (they almost move) and that flowing mane are incredible. I love to see what they do with some of these classics. Thank you so much for featuring such a beautiful cover.

    1. Oh, YES!!! I LOVE this cover!!!! In fact, I bought this edition specifically for this gorgeous cover.

      You're very welcome for the feature, and thanks for the lovely comment!! : )


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