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The Cabinet of Curiosities Cover Reveal & Giveaway

Today we host the cover reveal for a brand new anthology! The Cabinet of Curiosities is a website that is run by middle grade authors Claire Legrand, Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull, and Emma Trevayne. Each week one of these authors posts a dark MG short story on the site, and each month has its own theme. (The theme this month, as you may have guessed, is Halloween.) We are delighted to announce that The Cabinet of Curiosities is soon to be a published anthology with stories collected from the website, and we lucky Smugglers get to host the cover reveal!

Cabinet of Curiosities Website

Without further ado, we turn it over to the authors – er, curators, that is!


A Word from the Curators:

Dearest readers and other curious souls,

We, the Curators of the Cabinet of Curiosities, are pleased to share with you something especially exhilarating today—the cover of our anthology of dark short stories for middle grade readers, The Cabinet of Curiosities: 40 Tales Brief & Sinister—which will release May 27, 2014 from Greenwillow/HarperCollins.

It is a bit unnerving, to realize that such a reputable company will be publishing our many travels and travails for all to see. But we are nevertheless thrilled to share this collection with you—40 tales brief and sinister indeed, complete with illustrations and bonus content. Bonus content! Isn’t that fun to say?

We hope that you love the cover as much as we do, and that you keep our book in mind for those in your life who may enjoy the occasional dark and strange story—or for yourself, if you are such a reader.

Now, we share this gorgeous cover with you, and we bid you farewell until the next time we meet.

Fondly, giddily,

Your Curators



And now, for some thoughts on the cover from editor Virginia Duncan, and the Curators themselves!

Virginia Duncan, editor: Alexander Jansson is a freelance artist living and working in Gothenburg, Sweden. Everyone at Greenwillow Books loved his portfolio—and happily the Curators did too! He was the perfect artist to create this stunning jacket for us and he’s currently working on black-and-white interior illustrations for the book. They are creepy, filled with mystery, and great. Just wait until you see them!

Stefan Bachmann, Curator: Ok, this cover may be my favorite cover of any book with my name on it ever. I’m kind of in awe Alexander Jansson and his ethereal yet super creepy style. What I love most about the cover is the contrast between the blue sky and the red balloon, and not to get all deep, but I think it encapsulates the stories really well. Katherine, Claire, Emma and I all have super different voices, and different stories, and a lot of them start out quite pleasant indeed (the blue sky) and then things get cray (the red balloon and the floating house exploding with monsters). So anyway, I love this, I’m a giant fan of the artist and my fellow curators, and I could not be more excited for people to read it.

Katherine Catmull, Curator: That bird on the upper left, coming out of the little house—what makes it so unnerving to me? And then the bird-shadow that sort of echoes it, emerging from the tree above? I think I need to write a story about those birds. Also, the umbrella has teeth. ENOUGH SAID. I love this cover to tiny, frightening bits. What a gorgeous object to hold in your hands—your trembling hands—this book will be.

Claire Legrand, Curator: I love absolutely everything about this cover—the toothy umbrella, the yellow-eyed creatures peering out of the attic window, the many-tentacled drawers. But I think my favorite bit might be the ghostly, yellow-eyed creature poking out just above the white branch. What is that thing? I don’t know, and I love it so. I also love that this cover looks deceptively cheery at first glance, and then you take a closer look and find all manner of disturbing things peering out at you. That dichotomy is a perfect fit for us, because we Curators are all lovely people (I may be a bit biased there), but our brains and what comes out of them are more often than not on the disturbing side of lovely. I’m so thrilled about this cover and this project, and so proud of my fellow Curators. Many thanks to Virginia, Alexander, and the Greenwillow team for making our book so, so very pretty pretty.

Emma Trevayne, Curator: This cover…did Greenwillow get us the right artist for this or what? A huge thank you to our editor Virginia and to Alexander Jansson for such an utterly beautiful cover. I love the moodiness, the spookiness, and how the objects emerging from our bizarre cabinet call up so many of the stories within. And the lettering! I’m thrilled with how amazing the whole thing looks.

Meet the Curators

Stefan BachmannSTEFAN BACHMANN: Tinker of Shadows and Tailor of Lies, with a fascination for eighth notes, old trees and their inhabitants, and pictures that move. Don’t give him anything to hold because his fingers are stained with ink. At least, it looks like ink . . .)


Stefan was born in Colorado and stayed there for about five minutes until his parents decided they would rather live in Switzerland. They moved into a hundred-year-old house outside of Zurich and he’s been there ever since. He is a student of classical music at the Zurich Conservatory and the winner of a bevy of prizes few people have ever heard of. His debut, gothic-steampunk-faery-fantasy The Peculiar, was published by Greenwillow/HarperCollins in Fall 2012 and was a New York Times Editor’s Choice as well as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2012, with rights selling in seven languages.

Katherine CatmullKATHERINE CATMULL: Cataloger and Philosopher of Scientific Marvels with a particular focus on Jars of Moonlight, Frozen Flowers, Broken Fish Fins, Shiny Things Found On Pavements, and Bringing Cookies to Meetings.


Katherine looks friendly but she isn’t really very. She can usually be found lurking at home with her feral cat and her husband, who has disturbing eyebrows. Her novel Summer and Bird (Dutton Children’s/Penguin) is about two sisters who try to find their vanished parents and find quite a lot of awful and exciting things instead, from an evil queen to a snake as long as the world is wide. Chapter 6 begins “The Puppeteer was full of dead birds,” if that gives you any idea. Her next book is due out in winter 2015, and I’m sure it will be just as creepy. Katherine is also an actor (and you know what they’re like) and does voiceover work for games like DC Universe Online (where she is the voice of Oracle, as well as a ravenous female zombie, a most unpleasant Atlantean, and others) and Wizard 101 (where she is Myrella Windspar, your faithful real estate salescat).

Claire LegrandCLAIRE LEGRAND: Dark Puppetress and Master Librarian, specializing in Dancing Accoutrements, Unicorn Paraphernalia, and the Especially Gruesome Relics of Botched Time Travel.


Claire is cheerful when you first meet her and increasingly disturbing the better acquainted with her you become. This might be why she feels so at home sorting through ancient tomes written with wicked intent and charred fingernails of great potential. But never fear: She will happily sit in the sunshine and discuss unicorns with you while sipping hot chocolate, her absolute favorite beverage. Her first novel, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, a NYPL Best Book of 2012, is about a girl who must face off with a sadistic orphanage director to save her slovenly yet charming best friend. Her second novel, The Year of Shadows, is about ghosts — good ones and bad ones — and a haunted symphony hall, and twelve-year-old Olivia, who would be right at home at the Cabinet, for she enjoys sketching pictures of the strange and dreadful. Curator Legrand’s third novel, Winterspell, is for young adult readers, and contains lots of violent swordplay and kissing, the latter of which, as we all know, leads to cooties.

Emma TrevayneEMMA TREVAYNE: Collector of Auditory Oddities, Whimsical Words, and Cryptic Cyphers. Pays special attention to petrichor, things that glimmer, and mechanical body parts.


Emma is often mistaken for a unicorn because of her hair, which makes her slightly nervous around Curator Legrand at Cabinet meetings. Her dog is convinced butterflies are really fairies in disguise. (And if you saw the size of his jaws, you wouldn’t argue with him either.) She is that very special type of person who reads dictionaries for fun, hovering with held breath over words such as fiendish, lucifugous, and malevolence. Over a meal entirely made up of cakes and chocolate, she will tell you strange and terrible things about violent houseplants. Her first novel, Coda, is for teenagers and is about music that makes you feel very odd indeed, but she has also written a middle grade steampunk fairytale, in which she did unforgivable things to famous landmarks and laughed the whole time. Clearly, whichever age group she writes for, the normal rules of science and nature (and perhaps, politeness and decency) are there to be broken.



Courtesy of the authors, we have signed copies of each of the curators’ books plus a $50 Indiebound gift card up for grabs! To enter, please use the form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  • Greg
    October 10, 2013 at 12:12 am

    I missed out on the Jeff Vandermeer cabinet so far… I do want one .l.

  • Alyssa L.
    October 10, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Love the cover! Fantastical and whimsical, with a hint of creepy. I love the umbrella with the eye standing on top of the street lamp.

  • Lexi
    October 10, 2013 at 12:42 am

    I love the hot-air balloon city feel to it. It is one of my favorite images as an idea and not seen much.

  • Amie
    October 10, 2013 at 1:24 am

    Love the cover!!!! It’s so beautiful =)

  • Dina
    October 10, 2013 at 1:28 am

    This looks soooooo good!
    I’ve seen Stefan Bachman’s book covers and saying this is his favorite is high praise indeed. I love how it has this quirky, whimsical creepiness to it.
    My favorite part is easily the umbrella with the eye and teeth. 😀

  • Josephine
    October 10, 2013 at 1:42 am

    There’s so much going on in the cover, I love it!

  • Giada M.
    October 10, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Such a beautiful and dreamy cover! It reminds me a little bit of Howl’s Moving Castle. >_< The colors are stunning!

  • Sarah G.
    October 10, 2013 at 7:43 am

    What a gorgeous and creepy cover! There are so many tentacles, and I bet they’re fast and I don’t know what the rest of them looks like or where their lair is and . . . *shiver*.

  • Hebe
    October 10, 2013 at 7:52 am

    I love the spidery legs on the left…so creepy!

  • Suz Glo
    October 10, 2013 at 8:31 am

    I love the cover! It grabs your attention and then KEEPS it because there are so many great, small details to discover. I particularly like the eye on the umbrella.

  • Anita Yancey
    October 10, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I really like the cover, it’s very creative. I think I like the umbrella with the eye the best.

  • Andrew Patterson
    October 10, 2013 at 9:09 am

    I totally love that cover! So freaking awesome! 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

  • Rebecca I.
    October 10, 2013 at 9:09 am

    The cover is absoluuuuutely gorgeous. I love the evil umbrella!! And I also really love the colors. Love the shade of red they picked for the balloon. 🙂

  • Kayla Whaley
    October 10, 2013 at 9:13 am

    What a freaking GORGEOUS cover. Geez, it’s beautiful. I imagine it’ll be even prettier once it’s in my hands too. 😀

  • Shae/Shelver @ Shae Has Left The Room
    October 10, 2013 at 9:13 am

    The first detail that caught my eye (hehe) was the umbrella. I don’t know why it creeps me out so much, but it DOES. Love the cover! Any chance there will be illustrations inside a la The Year of Shadows?

  • Emma Adams
    October 10, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Love the cover! It kind of looks like a sinister version from the flying house from ‘Up’ (maybe that’s just me :P). The fanged umbrella is a personal favourite feature.

  • Lisa (Fic Talk)
    October 10, 2013 at 9:23 am

    I can’t decide on which part of the cover is my favourite! I’m legit bouncing around in my seat and unable to keep my eyes focused on one detail for too long. IT’S ALL SO WHIMSICAL & EERIE-CREEPY. I love it!

    What really jumps out at this point is the color choices. The balloon and its bright color just pops! While the color of the sky is soft and ethereal.

  • Carina Olsen
    October 10, 2013 at 9:30 am

    OMG! THE COVER IS GORGEOUS 😀 I love love love love it so much. <3 It's perfect. I have only read books by Claire so far, but I adore her. Her middle grade books are my favorite ever. They are perfect. And omg. I just cannot wait for this book to come out 😀 It sounds amazing and just, I'm so excited. I adore the cover. Love the flying house. So awesome.

  • Ariana
    October 10, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Amazing! On my tbr shelf for sure! 🙂

  • Kait Nolan
    October 10, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Oh that is full of so much awesome. I love all the color and whimsy.

  • Bonnie Franks
    October 10, 2013 at 9:39 am

    What a wonderful cover!! I want to read this book and maybe let the kids do so afterwards. This cover is so very enticing! Thanks for giveaway opportunity.

  • Dahlia Adler
    October 10, 2013 at 9:42 am

    That cover is stunning! Love all the magnificent details of the house. It’s simultaneously cute and beautiful and creepy, and is going to look gorgeous on shelves!

  • Katrina
    October 10, 2013 at 9:59 am

    The balloon creeps me out. It looks like an inflated organ ready to burst!

  • Tammy George
    October 10, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I love the colors that were used. It has a whole colored with chalk-like appearance, beautiful & fun!

  • Travis Bedard
    October 10, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Excellent visual representation of the Cabinet as I’ve experienced… lots of corners to explore and teeth where you’d least expect them.

  • Amanda
    October 10, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Squeeel! I’m so excited for the CoC anthology!! Congrats, Curators, the cover is marvelous!

  • Rebecca
    October 10, 2013 at 10:17 am

    This is one of the most gorgeous covers I’ve seen all year. It’s beautiful.

  • Anders
    October 10, 2013 at 10:18 am

    What a beautiful, whimsical cover. Alexander did a great job!

  • Kit Grindstaff
    October 10, 2013 at 10:23 am

    The cover is all kinds of awesome! I love love love it…and can’t wait to read this!

  • Vanilla
    October 10, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I haven’t seen such a lovely cover in a while.

  • Danielle Nguyen
    October 10, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I literally gasped when I saw this cover. So gorgeous. I like the little monster faces in the house!

  • superbwg
    October 10, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Love the colors, the contrast of the rich old school colors is pretty awesome, I also love the bird shadow in the trees, this anthology sounds amazing!

  • Carol B Chittenden
    October 10, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Makes a reader want to sneak aboard and explore!

  • hd
    October 10, 2013 at 10:56 am

    so buying this for my library –

  • Bobby Griffith
    October 10, 2013 at 11:03 am

    I love that it’s on a balloon, so that it could end up anywhere, including in my backyard. And there are so many teeth, tentacles, and other sinister things ready to reach out and grab you, as these stories certainly will!

  • sandyg265
    October 10, 2013 at 11:23 am

    The cover really caught my eye. I love the detail in the house.

  • L.S. Engler
    October 10, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Oh, wow, what an intriguing cover! I love it. It’s tempting to want to just sit there and look for all the interesting details in the unique design…I bet the stories within are just as curious, too!

  • Natasha
    October 10, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I totally thought about a flying Howl’s Moving Castle when I saw this. Amazing cover. Can’t wait to read what’s inside!!!!

  • Gerd D.
    October 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    At first glanced I loved the cover for reminding me of “Up” – on second glance it’s the Toothed Umbrella I love.

    And the Cthuluesque Tentacles, naturally. 🙂

  • Brendan Hong
    October 10, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    It’s just fun staring at the cover trying to see what is going one. Now if only I could buy a cabinet like that.

  • Emma
    October 10, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    I really like the cover! I love how intricate and detailed the floating city is, and the font is beautiful.

  • melanie conklin
    October 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    The cover looks magical!

  • Allison
    October 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Wow, that is a gorgeous cover. I especially love the tree in the background, but the 5 right in the middle caught my eye first!

  • Julia O'Grady
    October 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Love the cover. Can’t wait to get a copy for my son (and me too)!

  • Lan
    October 10, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Love the cover! Especially the smoky dragon head in the rickety tower.

  • Jaclyn B
    October 10, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    The cover looks awesome…has intrigued me to want to read the story!

  • Julie
    October 10, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    I like the idea of the cover and that the cabinet must be full. But, there are so many dark parts. Does te cabinet have any bright entities? Or is it all misery?

  • Larissa
    October 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    I love it! It’s perfect.

  • Amalia
    October 10, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    I love the gramophone that’s sneaking around in the upper left hand tree.

  • jennie
    October 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    The entire cover is delightfully creepy, I can’t wait to read the book. My favorite bit is the camera underneath the umbrella, it took me a while to see it but once I did, I’m in love. Also, thanks for the link to their site, I now have lots of reading material!

  • Megan
    October 10, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I’m digging the queer tree in the right.

  • Marina
    October 10, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Oh, I love Jansson’s work! Perfect combination of the whimsical and the surreal.

  • April V.
    October 10, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    I love this cover! I like how it is a treehouse but also a cabinet and a balloon…and, well, everything! My favorite little element though is the umbrella with teeth!

  • Becky C.
    October 10, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    I like the cover. The balloon really draws my attention!

  • Linda W
    October 10, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Gorgeous cover! Is that a dragon in the tree? Love the tree cabinet!

  • DebraG
    October 10, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    I love the cover, especially all the things sticking out.

  • Kristy McRae
    October 10, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Fabulous cover! And I’m a big fan of Katherine’s book, Summer and Bird! Can’t wait to read more from her, and these other fantastic authors. Thanks for hosting such a terrific giveaway!

  • Gaby Metivier
    October 10, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I love the entire cover. It’s amazing! An particularlly, that Eva, from Wall-e seems to be looking out a window, it’s so weird! xD

    Thanks!! 🙂

  • Kelly Palmer
    October 10, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Umbrella monster! I want one. 🙂

  • Taissa Reis
    October 10, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    LOVED the cover. I discovered two numbers (3 and 5) and am wondering if there are any others hidden. I came here because of Clare Legrand, but all the authors seem AWESOME!
    Thank you for the cover reveal =)

  • Grafton Daniels
    October 10, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    This looks interesting!

  • Hannah H
    October 11, 2013 at 12:24 am

    I do like the cover! I like how every time you look, you see a new little detail. I think my favorite part is the little caterpillar… things in the upper middle window. One is completely adorable with its little top hat and the other one creeps me the heck out (I think it’s the way it looks like it’s neck is broken?). Great cover, and cool sounding anthology!

  • Nastassia D. (@TasciaD)
    October 11, 2013 at 12:40 am

    I like the cover, it’s beautiful yet creepy at the same time.

  • Patrick H
    October 11, 2013 at 3:44 am

    I really love how, in the upper left, the green background and the red and blue room seems like a treehouse in a forest.

  • Justine
    October 11, 2013 at 6:15 am

    The cover’s style reminds of me of Studio Ghibli films, specifically Howl’s Moving Castle, which was adapted from the novel by Diana Wynne Jones. I don’t currently have a favorite detail, but I may come to appreciate one after reading the stories.

  • Joni
    October 11, 2013 at 7:05 am

    GAH! This looks wickedly enticing… Thanks for the giveaway! ^^

  • Joni
    October 11, 2013 at 7:07 am

    About the cover- I think my favorite part would have to be that it’s a floating balloon house, though the smokey character near the top has me curious about his story… ^^

  • Bonnie
    October 11, 2013 at 8:14 am

    I love the cover. It reminds me of a creepy version of a play area that was in my library growing up. They had a carpeted climber with a bunch of different little “rooms” and cubbyholes to curl up and read in.

  • Ray Pratt
    October 11, 2013 at 10:51 am

    The toothed umbrella is a bit subtle, but once I noticed it, had quite an impact.

  • C.J.Redwine
    October 11, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    I love everything about this cover! I don’t know if I can pick a favorite aspect … I’m very drawn to the entire idea of a floating, drawer-filled cabinet of strange and wondrously awful things.

  • Ari
    October 11, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    HOLY WOW this cover is amazing!! And I’m such a fan of fantastical story collections—I can’t wait to read the book!

  • Karen
    October 12, 2013 at 12:41 am

    This sounds delightful!

  • Mary Preston
    October 12, 2013 at 6:19 am

    I love everything. I could be discovering aspects for days.

  • Darith
    October 12, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    The cover is so fantastical and magical and adorable! 😀

  • Kristen H.
    October 13, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I love the house and all of the different creatures coming out of doors, windows, etc. Really makes you curious as to what the stories inside will contain element-wise. 🙂

  • Jen
    October 13, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    I think the cover is gorgeous and strikes a great note between being creepy and also kid-appropriate and fun.

    The detail I love best is that it’s so detailed–so much to take in and enjoy.

  • Maureen
    October 13, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    What a fantastic cover! The kind that you can keep staring at and discover a new creepy little detail every time you look. Congratulations!

  • Chelsea
    October 14, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    The cover is gorgeous! I can’t wait to get my hands on this! =D

  • Kriston Johnson
    October 14, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    I love this cover. I recently met the fabulous authors at Wordstock in Portland, Or. I am really looking forward to holding this hot little book in my hands.

  • Ash
    October 15, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Absolutely love the cover and can’t wait to read all of the tales!

  • Alex
    October 15, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    I love the cover! Just the right mix to intrigue both young adult & adult audiences. In particular, I enjoy the water tower with the creepy face & expression.

    Also, this anthology has a great back story – I really want to read it! (In fact, I’m adding it to my Goodreads to-be-read list right after I post this comment.)

  • fishgirl182 @ nite lite
    October 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    I love the cover – especially the little water tower with the fangy smile. Can’t wait to read this one.

  • Katharine
    October 16, 2013 at 6:54 am

    The cover looks fantastic and I can envision lots of competition for the book at our school library. But it has to go through my hands first!! : )

  • Maria Selke (@mselke01)
    October 16, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    That cover is amazing! I love the box with the tentacles coming out and the number 5. I love the steampunky look to it!

  • Carrie
    October 16, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    I love this cover! I love the hot air ballon/house thing has so many different little ‘curiosities’ sprouting out of it. It’s busy and yet not so busy as to be distracting. But my favourite part about the whole thing is the title font. I’m such a sucker for elaborate fonts.

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