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Illustrators > Who Are Your Favorite Children's Illustrators?

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message 1: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Radisavljevic (barbrad) One of my friends asked me this as a review comment, but I thought it was a topic that would interest many.

It's really hard for me to come up with one favorite illustrator because there are so many kinds of illustrations -- black and white drawings, color paintings, and more. Since one of my favorite genres is the picture book, I see a number of wonderful illustrators. Some of my favorites are Thomas Locker, Patricia Polacco, Itoko Maeno (who illustrated Papa Piccolo),Robert McCloskey, Jan Brett, Bill Peet, Steven Kellogg, C.W. Anderson (Blaze books),Ruth Wright Paulsen -- Do I have to stop with those? I discover new illustrators often. I tend to favor the ones who do the painting, like Locker. But I like the humor that Polacco, Bill Peet, and Steven Kellogg inject.

An illustrator can make all the difference in a book. Example: Compare an edition of Casey at the Bat published by Dover (can't remember the illustrator, but the pictures were, if I remember, drawings showing an adult Casey) with the edition illustrated by Patricia Polacco. (This edition is not listed properly at goodreads, probably because it's not listed properly at Amazon. If anyone wants to see it listed properly with the correct author and cover art, let me know and I'll send a link. Don't know how to send an off-site link here to my scan of the cover.)Anyway, the Polacco illustrations practically make the same words into a different story. It changes the tone, makes Casey look like a "cool" teen, and makes it very humorous.

My favorite non-fiction children's illustrators are Gail Gibbons and Ruth Heller.

I know there are more I haven't mentioned, but no doubt someone else will mention them. I have to do some boring bookkeeping now.


message 2: by Nojood (new)

Nojood Alsudairi | 2 comments A wonderful topic. Most of the time we fall in love with a book for both the illustrations and the text but all the praize goes to the writer. I love Audry and Don Wood and lately I cannot resist Emily Gravett's illustration.


message 3: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Radisavljevic (barbrad) Chandra mentioned some I unintentionally left off my list:

Susan Jeffers
Trina Schart Hyman
Audrey and Don Wood

I also meant to include Garth Williams, who illustrated among other things the Little House books.

I know there are more, but I'm too lazy right now to go check my picture book section to see who did the illustrations.


message 4: by Blair (new)

Blair Christolon Two of my favorite illustrators are Geoffrey Hayes and David Catrow. Hayes created those small, square Patrick books in the 1980s that were my sons' favorites. More recently, he illustrated Benny & Penny In Just Pretend. I also like pouring over the details in David Catrow's distorted illustrations in the Plantzilla books and this year his drawings in Smelly Locker: Silly Dilly School Songs.


message 5: by Ronda (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) I'm so glad someone mentioned the books by Audrey and Don Wood. The illustrations in their books always make me smile. Three of my faves? Napping House (trying to find the flea on each page is great fun), King Bidgood's in the Bathtub, and The Flying Dragon Room.

Another favorite? David McPhail.


message 6: by Mary (new)

Mary Crabtree (boonebridgebookscom) I also love Chris Van Allsburg: Mystery of Harris Burdick

Also Marla Frazee of "Seven Silly Eaters" and the "Clementine" series.
Hats of to David Weisner and Audrey and Don Wood too!





message 7: by Nojood (new)

Nojood Alsudairi | 2 comments Yes! Chris Van Allsburg! The Garden Of Abdul Gasazi, The Sweetest Fig and The Widow's Broom are three of his best.


message 8: by Emily (new)

Emily | 61 comments Some others no one has mentioned yet . . .

Leo Lionni
Mo Willems
Lane Smith (of Lane Smith and Jon Scieszka fame)
Jon J. Muth
Oliver Jeffers (My latest favorite book is his story Lost and Found. The best illustrations are the ocean scenes and the final page -- love them!!)

Oooh, I know there are more, but my brain is drawing a blank . . .


message 9: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Oh so many. Most recently David Weisner and Jill Pinkwater.


message 10: by Ronda (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) I loved Doris Burns' illustrations in Andrew Henry's Meadow. The detail was great and my son and I still find new things in the inventions.


message 11: by Emily (new)

Emily Unfortunately I haven't read many picture books since I was little (early '90s..I know sooo long ago. haha) so I don't know what amazing illustrators have been around in the past 15 years. But here are the ones from my childhood that i loved.


Chris Van Allsburg
Jan Brett
Garth Williams
Graeme Base
Tasha Tudor
Alix Berenzy
Laura Krauss Memlmed
Barbra Berger
Janelle Cannon
Janet Ahlberg


message 12: by Ronda (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) A few more faves:

Bill Peet Jennifer and Josephine by Bill Peet
David McPhail Mooney B. Finch, the Fastest Draw in the West by Golden Books
Don Wood King Bidgood's in the Bathtub Book and Musical CD (Caldecott Honor Books) by Audrey Wood


message 14: by ABC (last edited Apr 25, 2010 02:39PM) (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 341 comments That is a really hard question. I think sometimes my favorites are not necessarily my son's favorites. (Me being quite girly-girl.) Before ds was born, I borrowed from the library a book a great illustrators, and I made a lot of choices from that.

Off the top of my head:
Beatrix Potter
Demi (I don't own his/her books, but I salivate over them!)
Aliki
Don Wood (I think his wife Audrey writes the stories, according to the Book of Illustrators I read)
Akiko Hayashi
Maurice Sendak
Quentin Blake (appreciating him more now that we have read some Roald Dahl. DS seems to like him.)
Donald Crews
Jan Brett
Lucy Cousins
Brian Wildsmith
Eric Carle
Richard Scarry (On Saturday, I saw a shirt with his characters on it. It brought back memories!!! But it was thirty dollars.....)
Karen Katz
John Steptoe

omigosh, the list goes on and on. I can't stop.


message 15: by Dave (new)

Dave (uglypumpkin) The usual suspects have already been mentioned, so I'll just add one more favorite contemporary artist:

Laurie Keller. (Arnie the Doughnut, Scrambled States, etc.)


message 16: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 229 comments Since reading the picture book Coolies Coolies by Yin , Chris Soentpiet has become one of my favorite illustrators. My grandson has another book illustrated by Soentpiet, More Than Anything Else More Than Anything Else by Marie Bradby , a wonderful book about a very young Booker T. Washington who longs to learn to read. I checked Soentpiet's website, http://www.soentpiet.com/, and his multicultural, award-winning illustrations really impressed me. There are several of his books that I want to find, especially Peacebound Trains Peacebound Trains by Haemi Balgassi and Molly Bannaky Molly Bannaky by Alice McGill . Beautiful!


message 17: by Rachel (new)

Rachel C | 21 comments Barbara Cooney
Yuval Zommer
Scott Gustafson
Don daily
Charles Santore
Axel Scheffler
Robert Ingpen


Most of these illustrators did classic fairytales, so that probably helped sway my votes :)


message 18: by Rachel (new)

Rachel C | 21 comments And David Roberts. I just got his illustrated version of the wind in the willows and its gorgeous!


message 19: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Fogwell | 4 comments I have recently discovered The Fan Brothers, and their illustrations are beautiful. The Night Gardener, The Antlered Ship and Ocean Meets Sky, are some of their books.


message 20: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2505 comments Mod
Jasmine wrote: "I have recently discovered The Fan Brothers, and their illustrations are beautiful. The Night Gardener, The Antlered Ship and Ocean Meets Sky, are some of their books."

I also love the Fan Brothers!


message 23: by Cheryl struggles to catch up, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl struggles to catch up (cherylllr) | 6502 comments Mod
Of course Wang counts! In fact, he gets bonus points!
Which reminds me, I'm also very impressed by Jeannie Baker's collages, for example Home.


message 24: by Raquel (new)

Raquel Pilar | 15 comments There are many that I like, but Chris Riddell is definitely my favourite!


message 25: by Cheryl struggles to catch up, Newbery Club host (last edited Aug 24, 2018 09:43AM) (new)

Cheryl struggles to catch up (cherylllr) | 6502 comments Mod
Chris Riddell, of Emperor of Absurdia, Ottoline and the Yellow Cat, and others... for the link.


message 26: by Steve (new)

Steve Shilstone | 188 comments Good old Quentin Blake is the tops. How he gets Queen Elizabeth so perfectly with his scribble style in The BFG blows me away. I admit I expressed loud vocal approval the first time I turned to that page.


message 27: by Cheryl struggles to catch up, Newbery Club host (new)


message 28: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7921 comments Mod
For especially folk and fairy tales, Lisbeth Zwerger


message 30: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Aug 25, 2018 03:02PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2505 comments Mod
Most of my favorites are listed above. But I didn't see:
Ruth Sanderson: Cinderella and The Golden Mare, the Firebird, and the Magic Ring are two of my favorites.

Cinderella by Ruth Sanderson The Golden Mare, the Firebird, and the Magic Ring by Ruth Sanderson


message 31: by Isaac (last edited Feb 23, 2020 09:11PM) (new)

Isaac Toit (isaac_du_toit) Here are some of my favourite children's illustrators:

Lynley Dodd (Author of Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy)
Judith Kerr (Author of The Tiger Who Came to Tea)
Chris Priestley (Author of Seven Ghosts)


message 32: by Diana (new)

Diana Maria (dianamariaa) Hey there! These are some of my favourite illustrators (apart from some that have already been mentioned): Alida Massari, Cicely Mary Barker, Pauline Baynes, Louis Slobodkin and the one and only J. R. R. Tolkien whose pictures from Letters from Father Christmas are esquisitly delightful, I just love them.


message 33: by Almira (new)

Almira (volcano_lover) | 17 comments My all time favorite is Lynn Munsinger!


message 34: by Cheryl struggles to catch up, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl struggles to catch up (cherylllr) | 6502 comments Mod
I'm glad this thread got bumped, thank you all!


message 35: by Mike & Lori (new)

Mike & Lori M (mke__m) | 15 comments I'm really liking Michaela Goade: she seems to turn up on everyyhing I want to read.


message 36: by Cheryl struggles to catch up, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl struggles to catch up (cherylllr) | 6502 comments Mod
Lynn Munsinger and Michaela Goade for links.


message 37: by Emily (new)

Emily Thevenin Barbara wrote: "One of my friends asked me this as a review comment, but I thought it was a topic that would interest many.

It's really hard for me to come up with one favorite illustrator because there are so m..."


Yes, I agree a good illustrator makes all the difference! Call me dorky, but I wish more adult books had illustrations. In answer to your question, probably Bill Peet (who also did the movie The Sword in the Stone), Garth Williams (book Charlotte's Web, Little House on the Prairie) Liz Dauber, and Jan Brett.


message 38: by Cheryl struggles to catch up, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl struggles to catch up (cherylllr) | 6502 comments Mod
Liz Dauber is new to me; I'll have to investigate.


message 39: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Porter | 1 comments Bernadette Watts (Mother Holly) & (Star Child) - with many, many other illustrations for The Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen.

Marcus Pfister (The Rainbow Fish - series) - love the selection of hues in his watercolours - the blues are my fav.

Olivia Mokrzycki (Wesley Raccoon- series) - this is the young artist I used form my children's book - love her style, selection and soft use of whimsical watercolours.

Johanna Westerman (Wynken Blynken and Nod) - very mystical imagery - the dream state she creates is beautiful.

Rod Clement (Edward The Emu) - The vivid and fun images against his white backdrops make everything pop and come to life.


message 40: by Cheryl struggles to catch up, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl struggles to catch up (cherylllr) | 6502 comments Mod
Rod Clement's work is both gorgeous and funny, I agree.

I just discovered the older classic A House Is a House for Me and have added Betty Fraser to my list.

And it seems that I left off Astrid Lindgren's partner for many of her picture-books, Ilon Wikland.

Fraser and Wikland have in common with Joe & Beth Krush highly detailed drawings, often colored, with heartbreakingly beautiful children.


message 41: by Mir (new)

Mir | 60 comments I don't know if anyone else is in Sacramento, CA area, but there is a show of Coretta Scott King winning illustrators starting Wednesday.


message 42: by Cheryl struggles to catch up, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl struggles to catch up (cherylllr) | 6502 comments Mod
Oh nice... wish I could go.


message 43: by Cheryl struggles to catch up, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl struggles to catch up (cherylllr) | 6502 comments Mod
Natalie Babbitt does lovely work in both words and pictures. I recommend Bub: Or the Very Best Thing to all of you.


message 44: by Cheryl struggles to catch up, Newbery Club host (last edited Mar 08, 2020 03:31PM) (new)

Cheryl struggles to catch up (cherylllr) | 6502 comments Mod
Looks like we forgot to mention Jan Ormerod, prolific writer and illustrator, one of my very favorites. Consider especially Sunshine & Moonlight.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt (by Michael Rosen) is also a great book that we loved when my sons were young, illustrated by the popular & talented Helen Oxenbury.


message 46: by Mir (new)

Mir | 60 comments Cheryl wrote: "Looks like we forgot to mention Jan Ormerod, prolific writer and illustrator, one of my very favorites. Consider especially Sunshine & Moonlight..."

I love her. I don't think she's that well-known in the US.


message 47: by Cheryl struggles to catch up, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl struggles to catch up (cherylllr) | 6502 comments Mod
I live in the US and have seen plenty of Ormerod here. She's so prolific, that most of our libraries do get at least some of her work.


message 48: by T. Rose (new)

T. Rose (gptgrits) | 12 comments I have so many favorites having been a children's librarian. I discovered Jan Brett's books years ago and consider her Christmas books must-reads every year during the Yuletide season whether there are children in my life or not. I read them for me expressly for the beautiful winter illustrations!


message 49: by Milinda (new)

Milinda Suraweera | 8 comments I still love Quentin Blake, and I still to this day, have to check that I spelt his first name properly!


message 50: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1892 comments Milinda wrote: "I still love Quentin Blake, and I still to this day, have to check that I spelt his first name properly!"

He is a lot of fun and easily recognizable.


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