They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but these fairytale book covers beg to differ. Latvian artist Aniko Kolesnikova has been obsessing over elaborately detailed book covers since 2009. Working under the name Mandarin Duck, she creates nature-themed polymer journals that delight all ages.
Frogs, birds, fantasy creatures and more, Kolesnikova’s work knows no boundaries, just book binding. She even takes the occasional custom order if you want something she doesn’t have pre-made. We wouldn’t recommend requesting a skull journal, although Kolesnikova does make them (and beautifully so) she admits she doesn’t really enjoy skulls, she just gets a lot of custom orders for them. She said one of the strangest requests she has gotten to date was for a Dr. Who-themed journal.
In an interview with Bored Panda she said, “Sometimes when I lie in bed and close my eyes I suddenly get an idea for a journal. I jump up and run to my studio to make a few sketches, so I can start working in the morning.”
Check out Kolesnikova’s YouTube tutorials to learn how you can design your own journal covers using polymer. If crafting isn’t your thing you can purchase her lovely books and other creations through her Etsy shop.
Owl Fairytale Book Cover
“My amazing journey of discovery as a sculptor began 6-7 years ago when Chris Wildhaber Kapono from Deviantart inspired me to start working with polymer clay.”
Seduction Fairytale Book Cover
Nature’s Footprint Fairytale Book Cover
Starry Eyed Fairytale Book Cover
Bookbinding in the West has been recorded since the 5th century, but the oldest book still in existance is the St. Cuthbery Gospel from the 8th century. Throughout history books have been bound in cloth, leather, and wood.
As creepy as it may sound, some books have even been bound together using human skin, a practice known as anthropodermic bibliopegy. Thankfully for humans everywhere, Kolesnikova does not use human skin to create her incredible fairytale book covers.
Frog Fairytale Book Cover
Insect Fairytale Book Cover
Skull & Roses Fairytale Book Cover
The Lighthouse Fairytale Book Cover
“I once made two matching journals based on a story, but they were separated by a sale. A year later, the customer bought the second journal, and the two were reunited, just like the characters in the story.”
Floral Fairytale Book Cover
These book covers are out of this world amazing and so you must be prepared to pay a pretty penny for them. Prices range around $135 and up depending on the detailing included in the cover.