We can all remember our favourite book characters from when we were children, from Peter Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh, Paddington Bear, and the Very Hungry Caterpillar – just to name a few. Not only do their stories stay with us, but the illustrations that brought these characters to life are iconic and are immortalised for children from the next generation and the next to continue to enjoy.
But why are illustrations so important for children’s books? Put simply, it brings the character’s and the essence of the narrative to life, feeding children’s’ imaginations and providing them with a visual understanding of the story.
They also play an important role in helping children learn to read and gain a greater understanding of the world around them, helping them identify objects, animals and places that they come across in their everyday life.
As a result, the work that children’s book illustrators do is of the utmost importance, not only to bring the story and the meaning of the words on the page to life, but also in helping educate young people on the world. They achieve this in elaborate, creative, vibrant and expressive ways.
Each and every children’s book illustrator we have exhibited below accomplish this, but in their own, unique ways, making their styles distinctive and one-of-a-kind.
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Isabelle Arné, France
Isabelle is a French independent illustrator who loves stories and books and she has been gladly illustrating book covers and children’s books since 2013.
Sleep, Tiny Dreamer Book Cover – the book authored by Shanita Allen and illustrated by Isabelle Arne. This is a sweet bedtime story full of hope and innocence, inspiring young minds to dream big! Buy the book on Amazon.
Soda Pop Drop Book Cover – the book is about one young girl and how she navigates her emotions when someone new is brought into the family dynamic. Buy the book on Amazon.
Andy Catling, UK
Andy Catling is a professional illustrator with more than 50 illustrated titles under his belt. He has worked for many publishers such as Oxford University Press, Caterpillar books, Quarto, Harper, Lion Hudson and others in the UK and around the world.
Boo-a-Bog in the Park Book Cover – a heart-warming story about a little boy who overcomes loneliness with a little help from his new friend, Boo-a-Bog. A story of hope by Lucy Owen, illustrated by Andy Catling. Buy the book on Amazon.
A Pirate Christmas Illustration Excerpt – Joe and his pirate dad along with Cannon the ship guinea pig are miserably stuck on their boat missing the pirate Christmas party across the water on their friends’ ship. Worst of all the party games and the treasure hunt are happening without them!
Laura Watson, Canada
Laura Watson is a freelance artist and children’s book illustrator from Toronto. She has been creating whimsical illustrations for children’s books, educational materials, magazines and various retail applications since 1995.
When You See a Star Illustration – With vibrant colors and delightful images on every page, this book directs your young child’s attention to the wonder of our night sky and our Creator. Written by Becki Dudley, illustrated by Laura Watson. Buy the book on Amazon.
My Big Evil Brother Packed My Lunch Illustration – a lunch-box shaped book with fun flaps. This book is perfect for: Parents of siblings, Parents and families with a sense of humor, kids who like gross things, kids who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. Buy the book on Amazon.
Lauren O’Hara, UK
Lauren O’Hara is an illustrator from the North of England specialising in children’s book illustration. She had been published by some of the world’s best regarded publishers in both the fiction and non-fiction sectors.
Madame Badobedah Illustration – a book by Sophie Dahl (Author) and Lauren O’Hara (Illustrator), tells a timeless story celebrating friendship and imagination, from an exciting new voice in children’s literature. Buy the book on Amazon.
Hortense and the Shadow Illustration (left) – a haunting, original fairy tale by Natalia O’Hara (author) and Lauren O’Hara (illustrator), two dazzling debut picture book talents, in the spirit of Neil Gaiman and Carson Ellis. Buy the book on Amazon.
Emilia Dziubak, Poland
Emilia Dziubak is an award-winning freelance illustrator based in Poland. She is a graduate of The Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan and has illustrated numerous children’s picture books that have been translated throughout the world.
The Lost Rainforest: Rumi’s Riddle Illustration – a thrilling adventure book by award-winning and best-selling author Eliot Schrefer, illustrated by Emilia Dziubak. Buy the book on Amazon.
The Lost Rainforest: Gogi’s Gambit Illustration – another book in New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist Eliot Schrefer’s Lost Rainforest series. Buy the book on Amazon.
Xuan Le, Vietnam
Xuan Le is a freelance illustrator born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She studied fashion design and graphic design and has many years of experience working on children’s books and magazines for local and foreign publishers.
The Lost Leopard is an epic odyssey book written by Jonny Marx and illustrated by Xuan Le. Buy the book on Amazon.
On Sleepy Hill Book Cover – a beautifully illustrated picture book by Patricia Hegarty and Xuan Le is with intricate peek-through pages and rhyming text is perfect for bedtime reading. Buy the book on Amazon.
The Fan Brothers, Canada
Brothers Eric and Terry Fan are two very successful illustrators and authors from Toronto. They received their formal art training at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto. Their work is a blend of traditional and contemporary techniques, using ink or graphite mixed with digital.
The Night Gardener Book Cover – a wonderfully written dark fantasy, a spooky house story for children, set in Victorian England. The book was the authors’ widely acclaimed debut picture book. Buy the book on Amazon.
The Darkest Dark Book Cover – inspired by the childhood of real-life astronaut Chris Hadfield and brought to life by Terry and Eric Fan’s lush, evocative illustrations, the book will encourage readers to dream the impossible. Buy the book on Amazon.
Dan Ungureanu, Romania
Dan Ungureanu is an independent illustrator and graphic designer from Timisoara, Romania. He started taking painting classes in Romania and started working in different artistic fields such as graphic design, concept art and storyboard for animation movies.
Velveteen Rabbit Illustration (left) – Dan illustrated one of the most loved classics, written by Margery Williams. Buy the book at Arthur (Romanian edition).
Apolodor illustration excerpt – One of the most famous character from Romanian children’s literature, Gellu Naum’s Apolodor shows a funny and realistic portrait of the society from back in the 90’s and today, illustrated by Dan Ungureanu. Buy the book at Arthur (Romanian edition).
Hannah Sun, USA
Hannah Sun is an illustrator and concept artist based in San Francisco. She graduated from China Academy of Art with a major in illustration, and finished a visual development MFA in the Academy of Art University.
Hermione illustration – from Hannah’s Big Face “Harry Potter” project. See more illustrations on her Behance profile.
Bhumika Jangid, India
Bhumika Jangid is a freelance children book illustrator from Jaipur, India.
Milo Goes To Mars Book Cover – authored by Abigail Esmena, illustrated by Bhumika Jangid – Join Milo on his journey through the galaxy and back again in this timeless classic. Buy the book on Amazon.
Alice in Wonderland illustrated by Bhumika.
Paulina Wyrt, Poland
Paulina Wyrt is a Polish children’s book illustrator and has been creating illustrations since 2012 and animated films since 2005. She also runs workshops for children in the field of animation and illustration.
Evgenia Malina, UK
Evgenia Malina is an illustrator and graphic designer based in the UK. For her technical skills, she uses both traditional and digital media, allowing her to select the best tools for the project and to simplify editing.
Jazz Toad character illustrated by Evgenia Malina
Meimo Siwapon, Thailand
May is a freelance illustrator and concept artist who loves and simple and colorful things.
Illustration excerpt from The Emperor’s Race, another story published by Storytime Magazine.
Diana Dementeva, Russia
Diana Dementeva is a graphic designer and children’s book illustrator from Sochi, Russia.
KAA Illustration, Vietnam
Phung Nguyen Quang and Huynh Kim Lien are two Vietnamese children’s book illustrators working together under the pen name KAA. Their illustrations are inspired by the folk culture of Vietnam and Asia.
The First Journey, written and illustrated by Phung Nguyen Quang and Huynh Kim Lien, tells the story of An, a young boy in the Mekong Delta, and his first trip to school, during which he has to brave floods, water pythons and a mysterious forest hiding a giant crocodile. Buy the book at Reader’s House.
Sara Ugolotti, Italy
Sara Ugolotti is an Italian freelance illustrator specialised in children’s books, working with clients from all around the world. She loves art, nature and animals, especially dogs.
The Wizard of Oz illustration excerpt by Sara Ugolotti.
Illustration from Fairytales by H.C. Andersen.
Oksana Mychka, Ukraine
Oksana Mychka is a freelance digital artist and illustrator from Lviv, Ukraine.
Little Mermaid illustration by Oksana Mychka.
İrem Ustaoğlu, Turkey
İrem Ustaoğlu is a graphic designer and illustrator from Ankara, Turkey.
Kuri Huang, USA
Kuri Huang is a freelance illustrator based in New York City.
Sofya Bestuzheva, Russia
Sofya is a freelance artist and illustrator from Russia. She likes to draw illustrations for books and magazines focusing on creating artworks for children and about children.
María Tuti, Mexico
María Tuti is a freelance is an ilustrator and concept artist from Sinaloa, México.
Nathalie Grebtsova, Russia
Nathalie Grebtsova is a commercial children’s illustrator based in Russia, represented by Bright Illustration Agency. She loves to create children’s illustrations for books and hand lettering design. In every art that she makes inserts a little bit of love and magic.
Ratchanee Youngsuk, Thailand
Ratchanee Youngsuk is an award winning freelance illustrator who enjoys trying various illustration techniques, working both by hand and by computer to create different visual images.
Julia Sarapata de Carvalho, Poland
Working under the name Julia Sarapata Illustrations, Julia Sarapata de Carvalho is a children’s book illustrator from Poland who works with passion and on a mission for creating colourful and detailed illustrations. With her works she wants to take you and your little ones on a wonderful journey through different worlds, and illustrate stories and wonders filled with mysteries and magic. For digital illustrations she uses Procreate and Affinity Designer on Ipad Pro, and for traditional ones, media such as watercolors, colored pencils, oil pastels or gouache.
Liza Tretyakova, Russia
Liza Tretyakova is a freelance illustrator from Russia with a degree in Illustration from Plymouth University. She makes illustrations for children’s books and also does projects in advertising.
With each featured illustrator comes a new story to tell. All of these artists create dynamic, emotive scenes that capture the attention of not only the children that read the stories, but adults who are lucky enough to see their work too. These children’s book illustrators are all available for bookings, so seize the opportunity and reach out to the perfect illustrator who can undoubtedly bring your story to life.