Les Miserables: An artistic choice

We make many artistic decisions when we create Cozy Classics. Given that we only have 12 words and 12 images to work with, each word and image choice is critical. We consider a number of factors when deciding on our words and images, such as the child-friendliness of the word, whether the word can be appropriately dramatized through an illustration, whether the main narrative is advanced, and a host of other issues.

Below are two images which we created for the first page in Cozy Classics: Les Misérables:



We debated long and hard about which image worked better. Some of the arguments which we hashed out in favour of using each image are listed below:


  • dark, atmospheric tone is in keeping with the novel
  • introduces the backstory between Javert and Valjean
  • the quotation from the preface clearly outlines the main theme of the novel
  • the stack of books in the background varies the opening page format (instead of just having the first page from the novel)


  • a friendlier, less ominous, and less heavy opening
  • narratively more “open-ended”, as the image suggests various possibilities for the storyline rather than showing a specific scene
  • does not associate poverty with criminality
  • allows Javert to be introduced later in the book as an antagonist

We ultimately chose to go with the image of Valjean alone. So what do you think? Did we make the right choice?