~ Covers ~

 

The UK covers are completely different to the US ones - the UK ones have more of a theme and the cover art is different too.  It's highly likely that the UK editions had a different artist, but I can't find the artist's name on any of the books.
I'm sure that the cover artist changed at book ten at least, as the art from books 10-89 differs greatly in style from those on books 1-10.  The artist was definitely changed for books 89-onwards, and in my opinion it wasn't for the better - the new pictures were more like pastel drawings and only featured a closeup portrait of the narrator member with a plain background, whereas the old art was more realistic and showed either a scene from the book or some appropriate scene concerning the story (eg. Jessi's Wish showed Jessi with Danielle at a playground holding a pencil drawing of Mickey Mouse).  On a different note, for some reason the UK covers (excepting no.92, Mallory's Christmas Wish) depict Mallory with brown hair - this may be because one early book mentioned that she had chestnut-coloured hair.

On the covers of the UK editions of Chain Letter and Secret Santa there were BSC passport photo-type portraits of all the members which were also used for the Collection books and the special edition bookmarks given away with books 50-56.  These portraits don't seem to have much resemblance to other art in the series, and aren't the best I've seen - Mary Anne is shown with red hair and Mallory has huge comedy glasses, brown frizzy hair and looks like a middle-aged woman (and rather suspiciously like a member of staff at my old primary school).  Kristy has on a back-to-front baseball cap and her fringe is poked through the space in the back.  Ugh!

The Specials from 1-10 all seem to have the same artist, but then Special 11 got what looks like a different artist, as did Special 12.  Again, this can't be proven.  The Special cover designs were the same as the original series, except that the books were bigger and had a yellow spine with blue writing on it.

The UK logo is very different to the US one, which relates to the theme i mentioned earlier.  The logo is a roof shape (complete with chimney), with 'The Babysitters Club' written on the gable end of the wall (or think of it as a cross-section of a roof, whatever), thus each book looks like a house with a window - the BSC 'roof' logo is at the top and the cover art is the windowpane.  The title of the book is on the top part of the window surround (I can't describe that very well...), the book number is on the frame and the author name is on the bottom window sill.  There are brick walls on either side of the 'window' and these 'walls' continue around the spine of the book.  The back looks the same as the front, except the blurb is in the window pane, along with the price, barcode and Scholastic/Hippo label.  Information about prices and publication dates is elsewhere.
As with the UK versions, the logo appears on the chapter titles and the writing appears in the roof-shape.
I have a rather shaky theory as to why the UK BSC logo is the way it is - on Scholastic's letterhead (circa 1995) there's a simplified roof shape (with tv aerial...) and the company title reads Scholastic Children's Books: the Home of the Story, so maybe it just fits in with Scholastic's own logo.  That's just my own idea - I might be completely wrong, so don't assume that's true.  Er, I suppose it could just be like that because they babysit in houses...
~ sample original series coverscan

But, after that long-winded explanation above the covers were changed at book 100 (Kristy's Worst Idea), to a plain patterned cover with 'Babysitters Club' written at the top in no distinguishable logo fashion and a picture of the narrator.  There's not even a twinkle of my beloved house theme.  Harrumph!  However, on the back of book 100 it does identify the artist as Derek Brazell.
~ book 100 coverscan
This change was anticipated a little, since the Collections (3-in-1 books) had been rereleased with the new logo and cover art around about books 80-100 (about 1999-ish).

The Mystery series was slightly different in that the roof-shape was still there, but the books didn't have the 'house' theme, the inside of the roof was solid colour and a picture was underneath.  Inside the roof shape the 'Babysitters' part of the logo was still there but the words 'Mystery' and the number of the book were underneath in a capital letter font that must be listed under "SCARY/SINISTER" in the Hippo art department...
The Mysteries appear to have a few different artists again - the cover of Mystery 4 (Kristy and the Missing Child) features a Kristy illustration consistent with books in the original series, whereas Mystery 9 (Kristy and the Haunted Mansion) features Kristy with black wavy hair O_o.
~ sample mystery coverscan
On a completely unrelated note - on Mystery 8's cover Jessi bears a striking resemblance to Jess from Holby City.  Spooky or what?
 

The Little Sister series was different in that they had the roof logo, but like the mysteries it had the 'Babysitters' yellow bubble-writing, but it had 'Little Sister' underneath in yellow writing (but not like the bubble writing...).  The book number was above the 'Babysitters' title.  This changed at book 16 (Karen's Goldfish) in that the 'Little Sister' writing became white and was written in a slightly different font.  I also think there was a new artist  - from book 16 onwards Karen looks more like Lois Lowry's Anastasia.  Something to note may be that at least some of the Little Sister books have the same coverart as the American ones - Karen's Witch is the same, but I'm not sure about the rest.  I've seen the US cover of Karen's Kittycat Club and I think that's the same too.  It may be that 'Little Sister' had the original American coverart until book 16, but I don't know for sure.  The illustrations inside the Little Sister books are by Susan Tang.  I don't know whether she did the pictures inside the US ones as well - do excuse my ignorance regarding the Little Sister series, it was never my favourite.

The 'Kids in Miss Colman's Class' UK covers look like a page from a notebook with the title written in messy block-capitals and a picture from the book on the front.  They look vaguely like the US ones, but are still different in their own way

The California Diaries have very different covers - instead of photos the covers feature collages with assorted things related to the book- for instance, on the cover for Maggie's second diary there's a picture of a target with '40kg' in it (her target weight) and some pictures of dogs and cats (for the animals from the HCA shelter).  There's also some other miscellaneous stuff like a Coke can labelled 'Live-it Cola' and other book-related stuff.  I quite like them, even though their somewhat cheerful appearance contrasts with the angst-ridden content of the California Diaries series.

 

~ back ~