Princess Paloma and the Pea Challenge

story by Liz Ledden , illustrated by Queenie Chan

Learning Intention:

I am learning to identify the purpose of visual techniques so that I can create a front cover for a text.


Success Criteria:

  • I can describe the purpose of visual techniques used in book covers
  • I can create a book cover for the story
  • I can give reasons for illustrative choices


After reading the story, go through each of the accompanying illustrations by Queenie Chan and ask the class:

- what do you see?

- what part of the story are these illustrations from?

- how do you think they help the reader?

- if this story was in a book format, what might be included on the front cover?


Students may have a range of different ideas about what could be on the front cover. Once they’ve given some answers, ask:

- what is the purpose of a front cover?

- what are the things we can look at on a front cover when choosing a book to read?


Guide students towards the following answers and write them on the board:

- the title

- colours used

- style of illustration/photograph

- the scene shown in the illustration

- the age of the characters in the illustration


Select a diverse range of four or five books from either the classroom library or school library (try ranging from Goosebumps to something from the Rainbow Magic series to a picture book etc). Alternatively, find a list of suitable book covers online, such as Imagination Soup’s Big List of Wonderful Fairy Tales Books for Children.


Go through the book covers and ask the following questions for each:

- who is the target audience for the book?

- how do you know?

- what scene is shown on the cover?

- what kind of mood do the scene, colours and title size/font give the book?

- what might the book be about?

- do you think the front cover is effective at drawing in its target audience? Why or why not?


Students might recognise elements like more simplistic illustrations with block colour are often aimed for younger audiences, while more detailed illustrations that lean towards realism are often for middle to upper primary students. They may also notice the font of Goosebumps gives an oozy, creepy mood, while the colours of the Rainbow Magic series gives a happy, fun mood.


Explain that students will be designing a cover for Princess Paloma and the Pea Challenge. Discuss how the following might affect their choice of illustration:

- the target audience

- the mood of the story

- their personal preferences of book covers


Students may use Queenie Chan’s style to match their cover, or they can create their own style, as long as they’re keeping in mind the mood, colour, scene and title font.


Once they have completed their illustration, students write a summary explaining their choices. For example:

This story is aimed for readers in year three, so I made a bright cover with eye-catching colours. I used green bubble writing for the title font since it is about peas. I chose to draw Princess Paloma eating the pea ice cream with everyone watching in amazement because it shows that this will be a fun and silly book.