Sunday, July 23, 2017

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 220: A Thousand Nights. by E.K. Johnston

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!

*Late Edition*
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!!

A Thousand Nights
(A Thousand Nights, Book 1)
E.K. Johnston
Hardcover, 336 pages
October 6, 2015
   Fairy Tale Retellings, Fantasy,
Romance, Young Adult Fiction

My Thoughts About This Cover

Although I usually prefer covers where images are the main feature, I do enjoy highlighting those where calligraphy is the star. This is one such cover. 

The calligraphy here is SO richly ornate, so exquisitely beautiful! I see a slight Art Deco influence here, but it's been embellished by several graceful, sensuous, ornamental curves that give this cover a very feminine feel. 

Especially interesting are the words surrounding the title, which then become part of the design. These words are done in a more ornate style, and are also very beautiful. They are not very easy to read, because of all the curlicues, but that doesn't detract from their effectiveness. They are colored gray, which forms a nice contrast with the gold used in the title itself, which, of course makes the title stand out more.  The overall impression is one of shimmering elegance. The golden tone of the words in the title also contribute to this effect, as well as alluding to the fact that the plot involves royalty, as gold is the color of royalty.

I have to add that, before I finished this post, I looked at the cover again, and was able to make out the words, "She will stitch her own secrets" at the very top of the design. What a poetic phrase! And how very mysterious, as well. 

Something else, in reference to the the words. I have posted a link below to an interview of the artist. In that interview, mention is made of a Star Trek joke in the words that are part of the design. I honestly couldn't make out the words of this joke, lol. It's supposed to read: "Sokath, his eyes uncovered", and it comes from the New Generation episode, "Darmok". Gosh, now I like this cover even more!! 

Another interesting visual element is the figure of the young woman floating in mid-air, surrounded by the golden ribbon that "falls" from the letters in the title. This, of course, is a reference to the book's female protagonist. She seems to be either dreaming, or in a trance. This is a referenee to the fantasy atmosphere she creates with her stories. 

I also love how the ribbon that becomes the title paradoxically seems to flow upward from the palace at the bottom of the cover. It's as if the castle were representing Aladdin's lamp, and the title were emerging like smoke from it. It's an entirely lovely effect! I also LOVE the overall circular shape of this "smoke".

The background colors help the entire design stand out, and the lighter color surrounding the palace also makes it stand out.

I do have a couple of quibbles here, though. The author's name should have been a bit bigger, I think. Furthermore, I wish the writing at the top of the cover had not been included. But that's it. I LOVE this cover anyway!!

The BRILLIANT designer behind this GORGEOUS cover is Marci Senders, the Lead Designer at Disney-Hyperion. Originally from Brooklyn, she is based in NYC. In addition to being a children's book designer, she also likes to crochet, create altered books, and do illustrations. 

Senders attended Tyler School of Art, of Temple University, where she graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design. 

And here's yet another name to add to my list of favorite book illustrators/designers!


Online Links

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


  1. That is a great cover for all the reasons that you mention Maria.

    I would add that the background color works so well with the color of the font. It seems to be an off black with some blue in it. The woman's dress adds a splash of brightness that also works very well.

    The Star Trek reference is also very cool.

    Have a great week!

    1. Hi, Brian!

      It sure is!! Glad you like it, too!! :)

      Yes, the background color works very well with the color of the font. And I should have mentioned the color of the woman's dress, which immediately pulls the viewer's eye to her. Your comment about the "splash of brightness" is spot on!

      And, of course, the Star Trek reference is definitely very, very cool!!

      Hope you have a great week, too!! Thanks for the nice comment!! <3 <3 :) :)

  2. I didn't love the book but I do adore this cover. I think it's gorgeous!

    1. Hi, Stefanie!

      Oh, you didn't love the book? That's too bad.... I do want to read it, and also compare it with "The Wrath and the Dawn". Who knows, maybe I'll like it.

      But we can definitely agree on that cover!! It's absolutely GORGEOUS!!

      Thanks for commenting!! Have a great week!! <3 <3 :) :)

  3. This is a GORGEOUS cover!! I absolutely love the words around the title -- I almost didn't see those at first. Brilliant! And I love that the artist included a the Star Trek joke in the words, too. I know that made this even better for you! She's very creative! Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful cover and your fabulous thoughts on it -- as always, you give so much insight. Wonderful post, my sweet friend! *GIANT SQUISHY HUGS AND ALL MY LOVE* <3 <3 <3


    1. Hi, Michele!

      Indeed it is!! SO glad you love it, too!! :) :)

      Yes, the words around the title sure give the image some added interest, as well as beauty! I LOVE the inclusion of a Star Trek joke!! ABSOLUTELY!! And yes, this designer is VERY creative!!

      You're very welcome for the sharing!! And THANK YOU for the lovely compliment and comment!! You're SO SWEET!!!!


  4. Oh wow ! really good choice ! I agree with what you've said about the cover ! I love the calligraphy and how the letters curl aroung the character's body ! I also enjoy the background ! Did you see the other version of the cover for this book ( ? It's beautiful too ! (the one with the two "feathers" or whatever they are)
    I tried to read the texts around the title but it's so rare ! I think my eyes just exploded...

    Here is my try, from your "She will stitch her own secrets" you move clockwise :
    "Lady Bless"
    Then , as you said, "Sokath, his eyes uncovered"
    "In my sister"
    "There is a fire"
    "And Dreams"
    " Fillea with" O_O ?! (I seriously read "Fillea" wth ?!)


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