Children’s book illustration: We’re all children at heart

Anna Goodson

Children express such delight and excitement at seeing friends, new and long-loved, in the books we pull from our shelves each night at bedtime to send them off to sleep.

There’s not much that compares to reading a treasured, illustrated children’s book while your child, oohs and ahhs, as you turn each page. Their squeals and exclamations are simply priceless.

 

Parents–this one included–will admit to enjoying the illustrations from these tireless storybooks, and the characters in them, almost as much as our kids do.  No wonder, an illustrated children’s book like Oliver Jeffers, “The Day the Crayons Quit,” makes me pause with pleasure.  In it, the main character, Duncan, hears complaints from colors who want out because they’re overused, pigeon-holed. or playing second to more popular colors.

Winnie the Pooh, Paddington Bear, Curious George, Babar the Elephant, Olivia: these beloved characters, drawn by some of the greatest illustrators of children’s books ever, live on from generation to generation.

Illustrations/Gemma Correll

Every one of us has a favorite children’s book we’ve read to our kids, probably hundreds of times. Some of our illustrators at Anna Goodson Illustration Agency credit books they loved when they were children as one reason why they became illustrators themselves. Our talented illustrators have been illustrating children’s books for over 20 years.

Who hasn’t marveled at Maurice Sendak’s, “Where the Wild Things Are,” E.B. White’s, “Stuart Little,” or the classic bedtime tale, “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Brown.

Characters that are strong, smart, naughty, sassy, timid, or brave appear in our favorite books because of the conceptual and artistic genius of the illustrators who create and draw them.  It takes a special talent to interpret a story in pictures; to imbue a character with personality, attitude, feeling; to put characters in an environment where they can play, sing, cry or dream.

Children get their first intimate view of the world through illustrated children’s books.  They learn, mirror, and feel, because of what they see.  Children’s book illustrators know how to keep the child in them alive. They draw inspiration from their own kids, and most importantly, they seldom forget: we’re all children, at heart.

Illustration/Hanna Melin

Illustration/Agathe BB