As you may know, I regularly review Asia-themed fiction for the Asian Review of Books. Two weeks ago, the ARB’s editor asked if I’d be interested in reviewing a YA novel called Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus. It didn’t really sound like my thing, but I clicked on the link, and I saw this cover illustration…
…and I immediately said yes. I don’t know if this computer image has the knock-out punch of the actual cover, which I’ve described in my review as follows: “I could gaze at Jillian Tamaki’s superb jacket illustration for hours; it’s as though we’re sitting in a glass-bottomed boat with the massive box of the whale’s head passing beneath.”
The blurb makes it sound like a Japanese version of The Coral Island, but the book is actually very excellent, and I’ll post my review once it appears on the ARB site. But the cover blew me away, and so I looked up the illustrator, the Canada-born, New York-based Jillian Tamaki. I discovered from her site that she’s not exactly unknown, and that she’s insanely talented. The only point of this post is to introduce you to her work. Enjoy!
Here are some of Tamaki’s hand-embroidered covers for a new Penguin classics series. I. WANT. THEM.
All images from http://www.jilliantamaki.com/.