Is this the most horrifying book cover ever?

Illustration for book covers is a whole genre of art of its own right, with a rich history and tradition. When it's successful, the cover can help sell a book, despite the old adage, and will stay with us as a fond memory of the book. But get it wrong and the cover can haunt readers forever, or put people off reading what could be a great, or important book.

Users on Reddit think they might have found the most horrifying example ever in this 2002 instalment from the "Who Was" series. The cover of Who Was Harriet Tubman? shows the American political activist leading a fleeing family on the Underground Railroad, but the depiction of Tubman has been ridiculed for its ludicrously outsized head and neck, while some think she looks more like Willem Dafoe than the great abolitionist (to avoid such pitfalls, see our guide to how to illustrate a children's book).

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Joe Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news, features and buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment and software for creatives, from video editing programs to monitors and accessories. A veteran news writer and photographer, he now works as a project manager at the London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives. There he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing visual content and design assets for the hospitality sector. He also dances Argentine tango.