Posts Tagged ‘children’s book illustrators’

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.”

― Henry David Thoreau, Walden


With the annual New Jersey Society of Children’s Books Writers and illustrators (NJ SCBWI) June Conference on the horizon one has to think – there is something so amazing about so many individuals all streaming into one location from all over the country for a single purpose – to share, to learn and to grow in the one thing that unites us all – children’s books. We meet old friends and make some new, share and see amazing illustration, and have the opportunity to sit in workshops and at lunch tables, not just with our peers, but with editors and agents from some of the finest publishing companies and agencies in the U.S. Cheers to us all!

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TheTigerRising-KDiCamillo2What first draws you to physically pick up a new book? The title? Perhaps. But what makes you think that it may be truly wonderful? Chances are it’s the cover. And when it’s a children’s book?  The artist’s cover illustration is what will make you long to see more.

As an artist/illustrator myself, I am always thrilled to come across new and fabulous illustrators whose work I’ve never seen. This has happened twice recently and I was so impressed with these two artists’ work, I thought I’d share with you.

The first artist is Chris Sheban and I searched him out because I was so taken with the cover art on the Kate DiCamillo book I’m reading – The Tiger Rising. Turns out, Chris has also illustrated another favorite middle grade novel of mine, same author, Because of Winn-Dixie. Take a look at Chris’ portfolio – he’s amazing.

InAVillageByTheSea-AChu2The second artist is April Chu. She came to my attention because she is the illustrator of the soon-to-be-published Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine, the debut children’s book written by author and dear friend, Laurie Wallmark. What inspired me about April Chu are the illustrations of her most recently published book, In a Village by the Sea. It takes a lot of talent to portray the ocean as beautifully as she has, not to mention everything else in her illustrations. Take a peek at April Chu’s portfolio. Her work is truly outstanding.

Just as reading, as well as watching plays, movies, and yes, even TV, adds to our depth as writers, looking at other artists’ work adds to our richness as illustrators.

EdmundDulac-PrincessPea2I’m going to add one more artist who has been a longtime favorite of mine. I can’t add a link to his portfolio because he is no longer alive, but his work glows with a richness and vibrancy that I have loved since I first set eyes on it many years ago. He is Edmund Dulac, born in 1882, passed away 1953.  You can get background on him here, if interested, but will see more of his images here, where prints of his work are for sale. Pictured here is a 1911 illustration of Dulac’s for The Princess and the Pea.

It’s a good day to be inspired!



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CrowCall-Lowry-Ibatoulline2While purchasing novels at ridiculously low prices at book sales is great, books featuring the work of outstanding illustrators simply must be bought new and treasured. In this category, I cannot say enough good things about Bagram Ibatoulline. He has become one of my favorite illustrators over the last few years.

In Crow Call by Lois Lowry, a Newbery Medal winner, Ibatoulline brings to life both the characters and the autumn quiet of the woods and fields of rural Pennsylvania. Liz is the shy daughter reconnecting with her father who’s been gone a long time to war.  They slowly re-establish their relationship with “Daddy” taking Liz out for a very special breakfast and then a trip to the woods where she calls the crows to wake up and come to her. Daddy has brought his gun to hunt, but easily sees where Liz’ heart is. The story itself is touching, but the illustrations are magnificent.

The feel of the woods and the trees, the capturing of the crows in flight, and the beauty in facial expression and body language of Liz and Daddy are just superb.   ScarecrowsDance-JYolenIbatoulline was born in Russia and is the illustrator of many acclaimed books, two of which will welcome Crow Call to my bookshelves, Scarecrow’s Dance and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Toulane. His illustration graces picture and middle grade books of all kinds from fairy tales to history to wonderful stories by some of our best modern day authors and poets.

If you are a fan of brilliant children’s book illustration, Bagram Ibatoulline will certainly inspire and delight you.

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