The Babysitter's Club Book Covers are for Sale

Meg and The Need to Buy One

The Babysitter's Club Book Covers are for Sale
Image from artist Hodges Soileau Studio

I gasped when I saw that the original paintings for the Babysitters Club books were being sold by the artist. I also laughed when I saw that some people were surprised the covers were “real oil paintings.” Of course they were! The cover art was done in the 80s and 90s! There were no iPads then! Am I 100 years old?!

Anyways, every thanks in the world to Jennifer Chen for sending me down this little quick rabbit hole. I CANNOT BELIEVE she’s pitched a story about these paintings and has been turned down multiple times. WHAT?! 

I don’t know Jennifer, but I do know I several high profile editors subscribe to this newsletter. I have a 62% open rate. So odds are, at least some of them (Ahem, yes! You, Editor!) are reading this right now! And like, please run don’t walk to get her to do this story. I need it. WE ALL NEED IT. Okay? Okay.

Now that that’s settled.

I did a quick web search to find out a little bit more about the artist. 

Hodges Soileau has been making fine art for the past 23 years. But he spent the first 28 years of his career as an illustrator - book covers, magazines, movie posters. He did covers for Babysitters Club, Box Car Children and many others I’m sure you’d recognize. I really appreciated this blogpost he wrote in 2021. He says that once a lot of ex-illustrators move into fine art, they pretend they were never illustrators. But he doesn’t get it, because he loves illustration and what it did for his life and work. I don’t get it either. Illustration is my favorite kind of art. 

I hadn’t really thought about it before I saw the news about him selling the originals - but my Babysitter’s Club collection really did feel like art in my bedroom. I often propped them up so the covers faced out to me from my bookshelf. I liked to look at them. The cover art took girlhood as seriously as the books. That was too rare. I saw myself in the girls, laughing and lounging. Before I read each book, I’d sit and analyze each detailed cover - trying to see if it gave anything about the away, about the story or me. 

I am not sure how much the originals are, and I probably couldn’t afford one. But I feel a little achey, like I’d like to have one in my house. Something to stare at when I am trying to understand my daughters. Maybe the painting could show me the things about girlhood that I’ve forgotten. Or maybe missed in the first place.