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We often think of authors as some of the greatest people in the world of books. It is their stories that make the book; it is their writing that takes us to a land of imagination, it is their work that fills the library and bookstore shelves. In the world of adults, the author is all we think of, but when it comes to children, what is it that sparks their imagination?
Yes, it is the intricately drawn images that captivate the imagination of the child. They can visualize what the story is saying. To them it is the story; it is what makes the book.
Think of it…what is the thing your child sees that makes them want to look at the book? Definitely not the words, because not all young children can read, but rather it is the colors and pictures that draws their attention. The pictures are what made me want to look at the books when I was little, same with my brothers. (Especially my 10-year-old brother!)
Still to this day I enjoy sitting and
reading looking at the pictures of a child’s book. I don’t feel any shame in it, either. I am amazed at the wonderful talent that artist have and how well their image illustrates the scene that was written by the author.
In my mind, I can envision a picture I want to draw, but when I put it on paper it is quite revolting to see what I actually drew. It isn’t anything like I imagined. Some of my pictures turn out okay…and then others are an epic fail. With my attempts to create a beautiful scene with pencil and paper, I soon realize…I’m not an artist, and that those who are artists, are blessed with something very wonderful. Their illustrations are exquisite.
With that knowledge, I would like to share with you my list of the top illustrators:
I also would like to state that many of these illustrators work is done in books for toddlers and up into the early reader stages.
- Jim Arnosky – Favorite book by illustrator: Wild Tracks!: A Guide to Nature’s Footprints
- Wendell Minor – Favorite book by illustrator: Look to the Stars
- Joan Sandin – Favorite book by illustrator: Linnea in Monet’s Garden
- C. W. Anderson – Favorite book by illustrator: Billy & Blaze
- James Herriot – Favorite book by illustrator: James Herriot’s Animal Stories
- Jerry Pinkney – Favorite book by illustrator: Noah’s Ark
- Kim Lewis – Favorite book by illustrator: Floss
- Stacey Schuett – Favorite book by illustrator: Grace’s Letter to Lincoln
- Don Bolognese – Favorite book by illustrator: First Flight
- Robert Barrett – Favorite book by illustrator: Dust for Dinner
- Mark Hess – Favorite book by illustrator: When Mr. Jefferson Came to Philadelphia
- Julie Downing – Favorite book by illustrator: All the Ways I Love You
- Renne Benoit – Favorite book by illustrator: Thanksgiving
- Cheryl Harness – Favorite book by illustrator: George Washington
- Michael Dooling – Favorite book by illustrator: Lewis and Clark and Me
- David McPhail – Favorite book by illustrator: Edward and the Jungle
- Nancy Munger – Favorite book by illustrator: Janette Oak’s Animal Friends (series)
So many of these illustrators are featured in many different books and their illustrations are still beautiful, even in different story lines. I hope you and your children find as much appreciation for these artists, as my family does! (Now you see why I wrote what I did last week about building your toddler’s library!)
It is amazing how I could find so many amazing artists/illustrators for children! (I found some of these in the book, Read for the Heart) It isn’t hard, either. Just start picking out books that attract your attention and write down the name of the artist, and then go find more! There is a large pool to look for illustrators, and I assure you, none of their work looks the same. Go have fun!
Do you have a favorite illustrator?
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The Children’s Bookshelf I will receive commission on any sales made on my blog. To learn more, read my disclosure policy.