Do you remember when you were a child lying on the floor,
flipping through your favorite picture book?
Do you remember that great feeling when you saw your favorite characters
come to life in illustrations and they were just like you imagined?
Or they were completely different, but it hardly mattered – the wonderful
illustrations of the story that you wanted to hear over and over again from
your parents still left you in awe.
Today, as we are all adults (at least according to biology) and as not all of us
have kids or plan on having any, we rarely get to see book illustrations, which
is quite a shame. There are so many beautiful ones out there and they deserve
to be noticed.
This is why we decided to give you 13 wonderful examples
of book illustrations that will:
a) leave you breathless,
b) give you some idea of how your story could look with the right illustrator
by your side, and
c) awaken that damn good feeling of being a child again.
So make sure you’re comfy and simply enjoy what awaits you.
Advice to Little Girls by Mark Twain, illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky
Yeah, this is kind of a classic and it’s even more fun to read with the lovely illustrations
by Vladimir Radunsky. I mean, look at the little dog in the bottom right corner!
I want one right now!
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu, illustrated by Erin McGuire
This story was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen, so be prepared for a magical modern fairy-tale about friendship and growing up.However, it’s mostly the cover that’s illustrated, which means that this is not a real picture book, but rather a novel. Still, we think that Breadcrumbs deserves to be on our list because the cover is magnificent.
Chicken Cheeks by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
This book is FUN! And as the cover suggests – it might not necessarily be about
the cheeks on your face, which makes it even more entertaining.
Flotsam, written and illustrated by David Wiesner
Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen,
illustrated by Harry Clarke
We are all into fairy tales, right? And isn’t it nice to finally see all the mattresses the Princess sleeps on while still being able to feel the pea? Gosh, this illustration really makes me want to climb all the way to the top of the mattresses, cuddle up, and take a nap. Looks incredibly comfortable!
The Arrival, written and illustrated by Shaun Tan
The illustrations in this graphic novel are simply amazing. It might be more a book for teens than for kids, but still – the universe Tan creates is just beautiful. Trust us when we say that this book is a real masterpiece and hence fully deserves to be on this list.
The Baby Tree, written and illustrated
by Sophie Blackall
Where do babies come from? This is a question we all asked ourselves (and our parents)
at least once. According to some of the characters in this book, they grow on trees or, like birds, hatch from eggs.
As adults who know better, the cute illustrations to what these characters think
simply make us smile and feel good.
The Great Paper Caper, written and illustrated
by Oliver Jeffers
In case you have ever wondered what animals’ homes in the forest look like – you can find the answer above. And also, this sweet bear with a cap on his head and sticks as legs looks so adorable it simply puts a smile on our faces.
The Little Prince, written and illustrated by
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
On ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.
You can see clearly only with your heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.
We all know this famous quote from a the classic book that describes the lonesome
journey of the Little Prince living alone on his planet. It’s a wonderful story, and so are the illustrations by Saint-Exupéry. Enjoy and feel peaceful.
The Secret Lives Of Princesses by Philippe Lechermeier,
illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer
The cover is lovely already, and so is the rest of this book which makes us acquainted with rather unknown, but amusing princesses like Princess Claire Voyant or Princess Barbara of Babel.
And yes, their name do quite speak for themselves.
Three Hens And A Peacock by Lester Laminack, illustrated by Henry Cole
Women do the most important work in life, right? This delightful tale deals with this subject,
as a peacock falls off a truck and life on the farm gets messed up.
This is the right thing to admire and read when you want to have a good laugh.
Where The Wild Things Are, written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak
This is another one of the greats, a children’s book classic that just makes us feel at ease and young again. I mean, these guys look so playful whilst still maintaining their true beastliness they make me want to be part of their parade.
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale, written by Verna Aardema, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon
These illustrations make you feel as if you were actually there experiencing Africa’s wildlife, where the mosquito tells the iguana a lie which then affects life in the jungle. And don’t we all want to go to Africa someday?
Unfortunately, it’s now time to wake up from this blissful illusion and come back to reality.
We hope you enjoyed our list of children’s book illustrations so much that you, like us,
were left breathless.
Maybe they even gave you some kind of direction to where you want to go as an illustrator,
or they planted a new idea for a project in your head.
Whatever it is, we wish you all the best for it.
Also, we’d love to hear about your favorite children’s book illustrations that made (or make!)
you forget everything else around you.
Tell us by leaving a comment below!
Share this post with your friends to help them find refuge in memories of the good ol’ times
and forget about the normality of life for a brief moment.
As for us, we’ll take the risk and escape into the dreamworlds depicted above once more
with these children’s book illustrations.
See you when we wake up!