Thursday, January 1, 2015

BEST OF 2014: Favorite Book Trailers

Happy New Year! As is our tradition here at Book News & Reviews, we are kicking off the new year with a look back on our favorite books of 2014. Over the next few weeks, I will be posting about our picks for the best books of the past year. First, though, we are sharing some of the great book trailers that have sparked our interest.

So without further ado, here are our favorite book trailers of 2014:

Honorable Mentions

Quest by Aaron Becker
I like the restrained animation, which allows the illustrations themselves to shine. Like the previous year's trailer for Journey, this one gives just enough of a glimpse into the book to convey the magic and wonder to be found in Becker's work. I also think that the music selection is spot on and wonderfully effective.

The Right Word by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Excellent narration, a short summary, and close-ups of Sweet's artwork provide the perfect introduction to this nonfiction picture book.

Us by David Nichols
Short and sweet, but intriguing. I love the sense of movement and design.

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue
This trailer does a wonderful job of setting the scene and leaving us wondering what comes next, and I love the animation frames. Plus, the hazy green used throughout is a nice touch.

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Creepy and intriguing.

by Kean Soo
A new trailer for an older release, this is a sweet and gentle animation of the graphic novel. The brief quotes and piano music provide the perfect accompaniment to the graphic novel panels and light animation.

Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
Evoking the feel of classic film trailers, this one  certainly conveys the novel's sense of adventure. Plus there's the Sasquatch.

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
The voice over is compelling, with just enough going on visually to add interest. Also, the shoes at the end are a nice touch and may have observant viewers wondering why they aren't red.

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry
I love the silent-film style intro, the twisty sense of humor, and the wonderfully delivered narration.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Hakuri Murakami
The narration and animation work together seamlessly here, and the transitions between the changing geometric backgrounds are flawless.

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
It's intriguing enough—but then the kicker tagline at the end brings it to a whole new level and begs for a rewatch.

One More Thing by B.J. Novak
A high-concept book trailer centered on elitist French intellectuals may or may not work for some viewers, but when the snobby act crumbles, it's hard not to crack a smile. Plus: fun guest star!

Now I See You by Nicole C. Kear
Dark comedy gets stylized animation treatment here and really makes me want to read Kear's memoir. And the elevator music in the background? Nice touch.

Going Over Beth Kephart
This trailer is visually compelling from start to finish, and I love how the wall is used to display quotes at the end. The text provides just enough information to describe the plot and create interest.

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Burnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen
I love that Mac and Jon are following in their characters' footsteps to dig a hole "because who doesn't love digging a good hole every now and then." Their antics—from digging to resting to playful bickering—are fun to watch in juxtaposition with key illustrations from the book. Like the book, the trailer shows teamwork, fun, and the joys of a job well done (even if no giant diamonds are discovered). Plus, the music is sort of stuck in my head now. In a good way.

The Magician's Land by Neil Gaiman
I adore the concept behind this trailer. (See also: Poison Apples trailer.) Most of the readers are flawless in their delivery, and there is charm to be found in the less polished segments as well. And I love that the author "special guest stars" are interspersed with "regular," anonymous readers, some of whom provide the most compelling deliveries of all.

The Top 5


The Thickety by J.H. White
Intense, dramatic, and ultimately intriguing. It sets the stage without giving anything away. Shortly after viewing the trailer, I went to search the library shelves for the book to check it out.


The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming
This comical treatment of history adds interest to the more "serious" subject matter. I also enjoy the news-bulletin presentation, which makes historical events seem more relevant and interesting to potential teen readers.


Jesus Jackson by James Ryan Daley
The music, text, and video all work together perfectly. The pacing creates drama and tension, and the end leaves me wanting more and wondering why I haven't yet read this book.


The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Talk about tension. This trailer does an amazing job of building a feeling of eerie paranoia which eager viewers will hope will translate into their reading experience.


Noggin by John Corey Whaley
This trailer seems almost like a movie trailer for a cool indie flick and perfectly communicates the offbeat tone of the novel. From the gushing office lady to the battered, camera-phone-wielding classmate, the quirky characterizations are intriguing. And the Matthew Quick quote gets me every time.

So, those are our favorites from 2014. If you want more great Book Trailers, please check out our Book Trailers and Other Videos board on Pinterest!

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