What is it with book jacket designers and their penchant for using pictures of the lower quadrant of children's bodies?
These are just three that I have happened on in the course of wandering around bookshops or browsing Amazon. TTW and Max both feature children and time-distortion (a new genre?), and GFWE is apparently about someone who is a child for at least part of the book. In TTW (which seems to have started the trend, and whose cover image seems justified) the absence of feet in the male shoes is also significant (a nice, subtle touch that I hadn't realised before: I had thought that Henry had time-travelled in the picture, but there's a second meaning, relating to the circumstances of Henry's end). Feet, however, are not the only part of a child. Are the feet recognised as the lowest common denominator, pictures of which are guaranteed to alienate no potential buyer? Are pictures of a child's feet always pathetic-looking, intended to appeal to an adult reader's bittersweet nostalgia for a lost childhood? I am undecided on the answers to those questions, but it is my firm intention never (after buying Max) to purchase another book that has a kid's foot on the front cover. Haven't you heard? The new thing is juvenile elbows.