Every budding illustrator would benefit from studying illustrations in some great picture books! Today, I’m highlighting 10 of my favorite illustrated children’s books that would be perfect for teaching kids about illustrating. This list of 10 books is part of 4th Annual Picture Book 10 for 10 hosted by Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community . The purpose is for bloggers and others to share their top ten favorite picture books. I’m happy to participate and share with everyone my top 10 favorite illustrated books to use when teaching kids about illustrating.
Let’s start the list off with a book that helps us find our creative spirit. The Dot by Peter Reynolds is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year. In fact, International Dot Day is September 15th! Reynolds uses watercolors and ink to create the images for this book. Here is a clip of Peter talking about how to inspire kids to illustrate! I love his ideas!
Snowballs by Lois Ehlert is probably my favorite Ehlert book. Ehlert uses collage to create her illustrations. At the end of the book you will find photographs of many of the items (buttons, string, etc.) she used to create the pictures.
The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle is a classic. Carle paints on paper and then cuts the works into pieces and collages them to create his illustrations. For more ideas on Eric Carle’s work, you can see the author profile I wrote along with a video-clip here.
A Sick Day for Amos McGee illustrated by Erin Stead is not only beautifully illustrated, but is a great story of friendship. Stead uses woodblock-printing techniques to create her images.
Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger received a 2013 Caldecott Honor. The author/illustrator uses acrylic and die cuts to illustrate this stunning book. This would be a great challenge for a young illustrator. Here is a look at the book.
Tuesday by David Weisner is a beautiful picture book that shows you don’t need words to tell a story. Weisner’s award-winning illustrations are created with watercolors.
Salina Yoon’s illustrations are full of moving parts. A basic lift-the-flap would be an easy starting point for budding illustrators. For that reason, I’m picking Apples, Apples to feature. This happens to be one of my son’s favorites and timely for this time of year. However, any of her books would be great models for moving parts when illustrating.
Flo and Wendell by William Wegman is an interesting mix of mediums. Wegman paints on photographs to create the illustrations. How fun would that be to do with kids? Here is a video-clip of Wegman talking about the illustrating technique in this new book (due out September 2013).
Mo Willems is a wildly popular cartoonist. It’s hard to just pick one of his books! I’ll go with another favorite of my kid’s favorites- The Duckling Get’s a Cookie!? Also, don’t miss a great interview with Al Roker on Today Show in which the author talks about his work and draws!
My final choice is Shel Silverstein’s drawings from Where the Sidewalk Ends. Yes kids, not all illustrating has to be done in color.
How fun would it be to study each book with children and then try to emulate the work of each illustrator. Think of all the different mediums we could expose to our young illustrators. Do you have a favorite illustrator? Please share your ideas in the comments below.
Now that you have all these great illustrating ideas, why not participate in a Kids Art Exchange! It’s a way for you to send your child’s art to someone else and receive art from other kids too. To sign up, visit Hands On As We Grow for all the details!
Would you like to see my top ten list from 2012? It was one of my post popular posts ever!
10 Mentor Texts to Use for Modeling Writing
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Elizabeth Low says
I love your theme and the diversity of illustrators you picked. Snowballs is a great example of a style children could copy. Nice job!
Thank you Elizabeth. You are right, creating a collage would be one of the easiest illustration techniques that kids could try.
Fabulous list! Sharing!
Thank you for sharing ten titles and the way you consider the work of the illustrator in each. Very helpful!
We love, love, love Peter Reynolds’ books. Thanks for an interesting post!
Caroline, I love his work even more after watching the video clip!
Jackie Higgins says
Great idea for a list. You have some fabulous titles and information in this post. I love the videos that show the illustrators at work and the illustrations. I loved watching Wegman. We haven’t read any of his books but I’ll be on the look out!
Jackie, I’m glad you were able to find a new illustrator to check out!
What a great selection of different and beautiful illustrations styles! I love this list!
Jenni van Rees says
Great list of books to focus on illustrations! I’ll need to keep this blog handy throughout the year when I’m looking for just the right picture book to help with my art lesson. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Deb Nance at Readerbuzz says
For the first time this year, we will have an art teacher! Can’t wait to see what she brings to our school.
Thank you for this list.
Here’s my list: Top Ten Edgy Picture Books.
Deb, congrats on having an art teacher this year. I’m sure there will be lots of neat things to look forward to this year at your school.