NOT JUST A PRETTY PICTURE: Women Illustrators and Why I Love Their Work

Part 1- Animals

I admit, I judge a book by its cover. Especially in children’s literature. When the art grabs my attention on the cover, I know goodies await my eyes on the inside; think eye candy!

However, my first impression is never “Such a pretty picture…” when I see the covers. Instead my brain deciphers right away, what exactly about the cover entices me to open the book. There are numerous qualities on my checklist and these carry over into the illustrations of the book itself. Some books will have just one checkmark, others, two or more.

These qualities will be explored in my new series, ‘NOT JUST A PRETTY PICTURE: Women Illustrators and the Why I Love Their Work’ kicking off right now as part of the #kidlitwomen movement. Women have been rockin’ the kidlit world for decades and continue to do so. 

To start us off, my theme for Part 1 is Animals. Why? Simple, because I love animal stories, especially dog stories. And these women illustrators used their magic to reel me in. The following illustrators were chosen for the animal category but may show up in later posts for other categories. (For post length, I chose some favorites off the top of my head). Checklist category, explanation,  illustrator name, and illustrator sample follow. All photos are my own taken from books I own or from my local library.

Adorablism-  my word defining the cuteness of animals portrayed in books that matched the written story within. 

Sydney Hanson 

 

Sydney Hanson

Lillian Hoban  

Lillian Hoban

Lita Judge

Lita Judge Owl

Renata Liwska

Renata Liwska

Judy Schachner

Judy Schachner

 

Emoting – I can feel these animals emotions throughout the story, making me a part of it. 

Sophie Blackall

Sophie Blackall

Jane Chapman

Jane Chapman

Laurie Allen Klein

Laurie Allen Klein emotion

Hazel Mitchell

Hazel Mitchell

Vanessa Brantley Newton

Vanessa Brantley Newton emotion

Pauline Ts’o

Pauline Ts'o

Andrea Zuill

Andrea Zuill

 

Realism – Animals drawn to look realistic. I love these books for research and for reference. Illustrations capture the animals true essence and pull me into their world.

Shennen Bersani

Shennen Bersani

Higgins Bond

Higgins Bond

Laurie Allen Klein

Laurie Allen Klein

Eliza Wheeler

Eliza Wheeler

 

All of these #kidlitwomen illustrators are exceptional in their field, in my opinion. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did while I reread their stories as I chose my favorite artwork of theirs for this post. And may these women inspire you.

 

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10 thoughts on “NOT JUST A PRETTY PICTURE: Women Illustrators and Why I Love Their Work”

  1. I’ve a host of mentor books to read through this week. But before I read the inside tale, I’m definitely going to take an extra moment to absorb the cover, back cover and inside flaps.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, or at least, I’m gamely attempting to read all the ReFoReMo books this month. Off to the library to gather more reads tomorrow and fingers crossed, finding them!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great post, Traci! There’s something so soothing about soaking in the illustrations of such gifted artists. They speak volumes! Great choices! Now back to painting with words . . . some days I wish I could so it with a brush in my hand!

    Liked by 2 people

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