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As someone who works in a children’s department and has always loved good design and illustrations, I’ve come to recognize that there are specific picture book illustration styles I truly enjoy. My favorite picture book illustrators tend to use a lot of color, and are usually detailed and intricate in design.
I first encountered the illustrations of Carson Ellis through Home, her first solo picture book. Throughout the book, there are illustrations of various kinds of homes, some are realistic and some are more magical/storytime-inspired (woman who lived in a shoe, anyone?). To me, her illustrations of the various dwellings captured so much emotion. It’s also one of those books that doesn’t have a lot of text; instead, it allows little ones to create their own stories or have a conversation about the pictures.
In addition to the review by Book Tomato, I really enjoyed the review by Charlotte Riggle, where she also highlights how the text is really written for a child to be an involved part of the storytelling.
Other Favorite Illustrations by Carson Ellis:
The Wildwood Series
I came across Vashti Harrison while processing new books at my job. I saw her Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History and immediately loved the way she captured the look of the women while also keeping her illustrations relatable for little ones. This series of books (she has more coming out!) present an illustration of an important woman from history and then tells a little story about her.
Vashti Harrison is probably one of my top picture book illustrators, and I am constantly keeping an eye out for new work from her.
Other Favorite Illustrations by Vashti Harrison:
Cece Loves Science
b. b. cronin
I came across this book during a browsing session at my public library. At first, the illustrations were too much for me, due to the bold colors and full-page illustrations. However, after I took a moment and began reading the book and understood why the illustrations were so intricate. The pictures truly are a part of the reading experience, almost like a Where’s Waldo book. Additionally, the longer you look through the illustrations, the more you are able to really see a story within the illustrations.
Illustrators play such a big role in helping stories come to life! A picture book comes alive with the right illustrator. These illustrators are some of my favorites, and I will immediately check out their books because I just know the pictures will be amazing.
I hope you enjoyed this small round-up of illustrators. Let me know what your favorite illustrators/artists are in the comments below!