I thought that the U.S. cover of "Girl in the Blue Coat" was a work of art, and couldn't have imagined loving anything else as much. But as the book is starting to come out in countries around the world, it's fascinating to see how visual sensibilities are different around the world.
Selling the book in Holland was really meaningful. It's where "Girl in the Blue Coat" is set, so getting a local stamp of approval made me feel like my research chops were up to snuff. In The Netherlands, the book is called "Ik zal je Vinden," which translates to "I Will Find You."
I totally get why my Dutch publisher, Karakter, chose this design. The architecture is a really typical Amsterdam streetscape, especially along the Herengracht, the canal where my main character, Hanneke, spends a lot of time bicycling for her job.
The girl in this image looks nothing like Hanneke does in my mind. But she looks a lot like Mirjam, another character, so in my mind that's who I pretend she is.
Look familiar? The Italian cover is nearly the Dutch cover, but reversed, and with tones that are a little more red than gray. This makes sense; the Italian cover is "La Ragazza con la Bicicletta Rossa," which translates into "The Girl on the Red Bicycle."
If you look closely, you can see the other difference between the Dutch and Italian covers: under the street lamp, Hanneke's titular red bicycle. I'm glad that made it onto the cover. There are an estimated 800,000 bicycles in Amsterdam, which is more bicycles than people.
In the U.K., the title is almost the same as in the United States; they just get a "the" at the beginning. The Girl in the Blue Coat.
What I love about this color is how small the two figures are: one small girl facing off against one small soldier, against a vast city landscape and an even vaster country. That's how I think of the the characters in the book: tiny actors who are caught in an immense war machine, in which ordinary actions have unfathomable consequences.
This cover reminds me a little bit of Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity, which is such a beautiful book, in every imaginable way.