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Cover Story: The Missing Barbegazi

Posted 1st Oct 2018

Barbegazi: Mythical creatures from Swiss and French mythology. A white snow gnome with a long beard and huge feet. Derives from the French barbe-glacée, or ‘ice beard’.

The delightful and magical The Missing Barbegazi by H.S. Norup is out now!

One secret we won’t be keeping is how we arrived at such a beautiful cover design. The concept of the cover was decided early on. Author H.S. Norup said: ‘In an early discussion we agreed that Tessa and Gawion (the barbegazi) should be on the cover in a nighttime scene with the mountains silhouetted against a dark sky. A crescent moon, the plough from the Ursa Major constellation and Tessa wearing a headlamp were other elements on my wish list.’

Designer Anna Morrison then began to work on the initial visuals. ‘I began by researching barbegazis and looking at some classic northern European books and designs to inspire my cover, which was set in the snowy mountains.’

‘The first visuals were quite sporty and there wasn’t enough interaction between Tessa and the barbegazi.’

‘The next round was much more successful! We shared it with the author who also loved it but the barbegazi and Tessa weren’t quite right so she sent some sketches from one of her friends, Singaporean illustrator Dave Liew.’

And now we have a cover everyone loves! We’ve added beautiful silver foiling to the front too.

Sarah Odedina, Editor-at-Large for Pushkin Children’s Books said: ‘I have loved seeing this jacket evolve thanks to the wonderful work of Anna. It is a dynamic jacket that also has great intimacy between the two characters; qualities that reflect those of the book so well.’

H.S. Norup is thrilled. ‘Anna’s gorgeous design gave me everything I wished for, and more. The overall style captures the tone of the story perfectly, the colours are stunning and I really like the font. The interaction between Tessa and the barbegazi is intriguing; with Tessa pointing at Gawion, it’s as if she answers the unasked questions: “What’s a barbegazi?” that a reader of the title is likely to pose. I also love how the brambles frame the scene, giving the cover a fairy-tale feel and making it three-dimensional. Did I mention that I love the cover?’

You can order The Missing Barbegazi  from our online shop now!