I know I never would have picked up All the Truth That's In Me based on the cover alone. Judith is supposed to be a simple farm girl, yet she has the eye makeup of someone going clubbing. It is so very odd; I'm not sure what the publishers were thinking. However, awful cover became insignificant once I began reading because the story was so amazing. Judith and her friend were abducted late one night. Her friend's body was discovered, and then two years later, Judith returns home, with her tongue removed. Judith eventually begins talking and eventually the truth is revealed. The mystery is so compelling that I stayed up several nights past my bedtime reading it.
In The Animal Book, Jenkins uses mostly previously released artwork with original text to create a fantastic animal encyclopedia. He addresses animal extremes, animal defenses, the history of evolution and other topics. You don't read this one as much as explore it. Extra kudos for the last section which details the making of a book from concept to publication.
These books could not be more different and the whole apples vs. oranges scenario is certainly very fitting. I gave both books 5 stars on Goodreads and since I'm not an official judge, I do not have to choose a winner. The best part of straddling the fence on this one is that I will be happy with whichever book Ms. Nelson chooses to put forward.
Be sure to check out http://blogs.slj.com/battleofthebooks/ for the official result tomorrow!
EDIT: Vaunda Nelson chose The Animal Book.