6 of My Favorite Kid’s Book Author-Illustrators | Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators Week!

Happy Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators Week!

dangerouslyThis week is a great excuse to sit back and think about, or re-read, your favorite books from when you were little. If you look some up, you might be surprised (like I was) at how many were written and illustrated by the same person!

There’s truly something fantastic about a well-written and illustrated kid’s book, whether textured by an author and a complimentary artist, or if both parts grew out of the same mind. I have a lot of respect for artists who dance in that middle ground, and there are so many with such rich talents! They have my undying admiration, and still inspire me to write and illustrate my own kid’s book one day.

So without further ado, here are some of my favorite author-illustrators, in no particular order! And there is NO WAY this is a comprehensive list of all of my favorites, or even a decent description of these people’s works or their lives, so please, look them up and give their sites some traffic! I’ll give you the links!


Barbara Helen Berger

Barbara Helen Berger

Photo found on http://www.kitsapsun.com

Books I’ve Read: Gwinna

Since I’ve talked about “Gwinna” before, I’ll suffice it to say that this lady is ridiculously talented, and I really need to check out more of her books, especially since I only know “Gwinna.” What I didn’t know is that she is also a magnificent artist in many mediums, which is why I included some of her beautiful art pieces in the little gallery below. You can find these images of her creations, and more, at her website.


Kevin Henkes

Kevin Henkes

Photo found on http://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com

Books I’ve Read: Kitten’s First Full Moon, Chrysanthemum

I loved his book “Kitten’s First Full Moon,” which I read in my fantastic Children’s Lit class in college. As I was researching for this post, I learned that he’d also written one of my favorite books featured on the PBS “Storytime” TV show years ago, “Chrysanthemum!” If I remember right, it was read by Paula Poundstone! (Anyone else remember that show? Celebrities reading books to kids and a puppet?)

Anyway, I was absolutely delighted to discover this! He’s written some other books too, which he didn’t illustrate, and he’s been very prolific. He has different art styles for his illustrations, which I’ve included examples of in the little gallery below. You can find these images of his cover art, and more, at his website.


Tomie dePaola

Tomie dePaola

Photo found on missoulian.com

 Books I’ve Read: Tomie dePaola’s Mother Goose, The Popcorn Book, Charlie Needs a Cloak, The Clown of God

I’ve been a huge fan of his since I was very little. I got a book signed when he visited my local library as a kid, and still remember watching him on an episode of Barney (yes, I watched Barney, don’t judge). I always liked his brightly water-colored, distinctive cartoony style, and I still do! His books’ topics range from Mother Goose rhymes to the history of popcorn. He’s 80 years old and still illustrating books! And sculpting, apparently he does that too!

Examples of his cover art below are from Goodreads.com.


Brian Selznick

Photo from http://thefilmstage.com

Photo from http://thefilmstage.com

Books I’ve Read: The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Wonderstruck

I discovered him, thanks once again, to my awesome Children’s Lit class in college, and I was mesmerized by his storytelling style that depended so much on the illustrations. He is an incredible artist, and I love the way he tells his stories in such beautiful, lifelike pencil drawings, as well as words. I also love how lots of his books involve old art styles and technology and interesting history, like classic film, museums, magic and automatons, to name a few. I really need to read all of his books, seriously. I know I say that a lot, but for real.

If you’re interested in seeing what Brian Selznick’s favorite children’s books are, check out this article!

I found these images at http://www.gwarlingo.com.


Mo Willems

Mo Willems

Photo found on http://sfsketchfest.com

Books I’ve Read: Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus!, Knufflebunny, Various Elephant & Piggie books, and more!

I first heard of Mo–say it with me, guys–in my Children’s Lit class in college. And later realized that he’d been around in my childhood, behind a lot of sketch cartoons, like Suzie Kabloozie from Sesame Street, to name one! He also wrote scripts on Sesame Street, and other TV shows too, including “Sheep in the Big City,” which he created. His expressive line art style is known for unusual combinations of color and shape at its wackiest, and there’s a lot of humor in everything he works on. He’s awesome, just awesome!

You can find these images below, and more, at Mo’s Stuff blog.


Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter

Photo found on http://www.biographyonline.net


Books I’ve Read: The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin, The Tale of Two Bad Mice, The Story of Miss Moppet, and many more!

My little girl room was decorated with bed linens, stuffed animals, curtains and wall art covered with her illustrations, so you could say she left a mark on me and my sister’s childhood, haha. Heck, she left a mark on the entire world of children’s book illustrations.

Sadly, it wasn’t until I saw the movie “Miss Potter,” (which is one of my favorite movies about authors of all time) that it really hit home what an amazing woman she was. In addition to loving animals, nature, science, agriculture, and taking a strong active role in preservation and conservation of beautiful British farmland, her wonderful stories and drawings are still published today, and she died in 1943, which is a testament to amazing talent…and good marketing. I’m not even kidding, she was one of the first authors to really explore the possibilities of merchandising…said the woman who still has a Peter Rabbit birthday plate she plans to hang in her guest room.

The little gallery of images below was collected from Wikipedia.

I keep wanting to add more, as usual, but I’ll use some restraint and save some for next time. 😉

I’m planning to re-read some of my favorite kid’s books this week, and possibly visit my favorite local kid’s book store. Are you planning to celebrate? If you’d like to, but aren’t sure how, Children’s Authors’ Network has some really good ideas, like writing a note to your favorite author or illustrator!

Well, I’m off to raid my bookshelf of kid’s books and see if OverDrive has anything intriguing in the picture book department. (If you have a smart phone or tablet and a library card and don’t know about OverDrive, CHECK IT OUT. SERIOUSLY.)

Have a great week!

Oh, and I made more author-illustrator memes 😛 Enjoy the goofiness.


Christina {PuellaDocta}

Christina is an artist and graphic designer, fantasy writer, and a huge geek. She chronicles her creative process--as well as her love for storytelling, the arts, tea, and more--in blogs, portfolio posts, vlogs and on social media. Read more about her here >>

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