Saturday, May 28, 2016

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 179: Under Wildwood, by Colin Meloy

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!

This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful covers!
It also provides information, 
if available, on their 
very talented creators!

Here's my choice for this week!

Under Wildwood 
 (Wildwood Chronicles, Book 2)
Colin Meloy
Hardcover, 559 pages
Balzer + Bray
September 25 , 2012
Fantasy, Science Fiction,
Young Adult Fiction

My Thoughts About This Cover

This cover has a very whimsical, delightful feel to it. It looks like the type of cover that could have been created in the 1920s. I see a very prominent Art Deco influence in it, not only in the lettering and the portrayal of the various characters, but in the overall layout, as well. 

I love the enchanting design! The cover artist, Carson Ellis (her name is right on the cover, too), has created a cover that obviously refers to fairy tales, and also evokes a certain sense of nostalgia. It reminds me of those golden days when I read fairy tales avidly, believing that every single word was true. And nothing made my interest kick into high gear like reading about mysterious, enchanted forests, which this cover seems to allude to.

Another quality about this cover is that it reminds me of folk art, particularly the kind to be found on quilts, and on 19th-century signs. I think it's obvious that Ellis has been influenced by this type of art, as well.

There's also a sense of traditional fairy tales here. I am reminded of "Little Red Riding Hood", "Hansel and Gretel", and "Goldilocks and the Three Bears". Paradoxically, the story itself is supposed to be much darker than the one in the first book of the series Under Wildwood is part of. Nevertheless, I don't think that this cover seems menacing in any way, in spite of the black borders. It simply looks like the cover of a wonderful book of fairy tales (although there's only one tale in the book). 

Another thing I love about this cover is the placement of the title within a banner that unfurls on either side.  I also love the little geometric flourishes on each side of the word "Under".

All in all, this is a great cover, and I definitely want to add it to my collection (along with the entire book, of  course!). I consider Ellis to be a brilliant artist!

It turns out that Carson Ellis is married to the author of this novel, Colin Meloy, and they have two sons. This is very gratifying to my romantic heart

Ellis has done work for The New York Times, Poetry Magazine, and The New Yorker, among others. She also illustrated The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart, The Composer Is Dead, by Lemony Snicket, and Home, which she authored, as well. 

Ellis is a fine artist, too, being represented by Nationale Gallery, in Portland, Oregon, where she and her family live. She has also been awarded the Silver Medal twice by the Society of Illustrators. Furthermore, she's the illustrator-in-residence for the American indie folk rock band, The Decemberists, of which her husband, Colin Meloy, is a member. He provides lead vocals and guitar, and is also the principal songwriter.

So my list of favorite book illustrators is growing and growing!  


What do you think of this 
week's cover?
Please leave a comment
and let me know!


  1. This is a great cover. I also love it.

    As you point out, the art deco design is fantastic. I love the way that the various characters and animals are drawn There is something playful about them that is amusing. I cannot help smiling when I look at them.

    1. Hey, Brian!

      Oh, yes, it definitely is!!

      You're so right that the characters and animals are playfully drawn. I can see why they make you smile. This is part of Ellis's style. When I checked out her website, I noticed right away that all of her work has this playful quality about it. As you know, every artist's personality comes through in their work, so that means she has a great sense of humor.

      I thought it was so WONDERFUL that she and her husband collaborated on this book! He wrote it, and she illustrated it. How romantic!

      Thanks for the great comment, as usual!! Hope you have a great holiday weekend!! :)

  2. Very nice cover and wonderful background information.

    THANKS for sharing.


    1. Hi, Elizabeth!

      Oh, you're so sweet! I love picking out these covers and giving information on the artist!

      I owe this meme to Steph @ Five Alarm Book Reviews. She was the original host, and passed the meme on to me when she decided to stop blogging entirely.

      You're very welcome for the share! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!! :)

      Hope you're having a WONDERFUL weekend!! :)

  3. This sounds so cute! Love that cover -- very whimsical. And how sweet that the illustrator is married to the author! Thanks for sharing! :) *hugs*

    ~Michele & Mckenzie

    1. Hi, Michele & Mckenzie!!

      Yes, this is really cute! This cover is indeed very whimsical. And I, too, am SO happy that the illustrator is married to the author!

      You're SO very welcome for the share! Thanks for stopping by and leaving another of your wonderful comments!! HUGS back!! <3 :)


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