Illustrating a Book Cover

The magic of making incredible cover art

Series 2 | Lesson 6

Creators | Jess Racklyeft & Heidi McKinnon

Book covers are the gatekeepers to the story that lurks behind. So who will enter? Will YOU?

In this lesson, we’ll hear from Jess and Heidi, two illustrators whose job it is to get all these things done in one little cover space.

And we’ll learn some of the secrets to making a truly MIGHTY book cover!

Key Concepts:

  • The role and purpose of a book cover
  • An illustrator’s important role in making memorable book cover art


  • Expectations or rules to follow when designing a book cover
  • Practical tips from illustrators on how to design, draft and complete a book cover for publication

Resources for Illustrating a Book Cover

Resources include lesson plans for middle and upper primary students, each with their own activities and supporting resources.

ST Series 2 Lesson 6 Education Resources
  • Discover the making of the award-winning Iceberg cover.
  • Worksheets for creating your own amazing book covers.
  • Labels to explore elements of book covers across genres.
< Previous Lesson 

About Illustrating a Book Cover Creators

Heidi McKinnon

Heidi is an author-illustrator who lives in sunny Melbourne.

Heidi has a background in art and design. Her books are mostly based on true stories, except for one.

Heidi’s first picture book, I Just Ate My Friend, was shortlisted for numerous awards.

Learn more

Jess Racklyeft

Jess is a children’s book lover, draw-er and reader based in Melbourne, who also creates work for card companies, picture books, original paintings, prints and all types of different client projects.

Iceberg, illustrated by Jess and written by fellow Series 2 creator Claire Saxby, was the 2022 winner of CBCA Picture Book of the Year.

Learn more