Bringing Storybooks to Life

Last month, children’s literature fans across the world received exciting news. In July 2015 a new book by one of children’s literature’s biggest stars, Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) is set to be released. In 2013 Geisel’s widow found the manuscript and sketches for the book “What Pet Should I Get?”, and now more than twenty years after his death a new generation will be delighted with a new Dr. Seuss story.


The story is estimated to have been written between 1958 and 1962 and will feature the children from “One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”. The signature illustrative style of Dr. Seuss books are part of the magic of his stories. For many children, especially those who cannot yet read, it is the illustrations that draw them to a particular book. During childhood and several years working at a library I got to explore countless beautifully illustrated books. I though I would share a list of my favourite children’s book illustrators, but choosing favourites proved far too difficult. Instead here is a small sampling of the many wonderful illustrators out there.



Jon Klassen is a Canadian illustrator and author. Shown here are illustrations from the books I Want My Hat Back (also written by Klassen), Sam and Dave Dig a Hole (by Mac Barnett), Extra Yarn (by Mac Barnett), The Dark (by Lemony Snicket) and House Held Up By Trees (by Ted Kooser).



Oliver Jeffers is an artist, author and illustrator originally from Northern Ireland, but now lives in Brooklyn.  Shown here are some illustrations from a few books that Jeffers has also written: The Great Paper Caper, This Moose Belongs to Me, Up and DownLost and Found, The Incredible Book Eating Boy, and Stuck 



Miroslav Sasek was a Czech author and illustrator. He is well known for his This is series which featured different countries and cities around the world. Shown here are some illustrations from this series: This is Venice, This is New York, This is London, This is Rome, This is Paris, This is San Fransisco, and This is the Way to the Moon



Alison Oliver is a designer, illustrator and owner of the design studio Sugar in New York. Shown here are a collection of her illustration in the growing Baby Lit series, written by Jennifer Adams: Moby Dick, Alice in Wonderland, Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, The Secret Garden and Jungle Book.



Sophie Blackall is an Australian artist and illustrator who now lives in New York. She is well known for her Missed Connections project as well as her work in children’s books. Shown here is a sampling of her work from the books Edwin Speaks Up (by April Stevens), The 9 Lives of Alexander Baddenfield (by John Bemelmans Marciano), The Crows of Pearblossom (by Aldous Huxley), Jumpy Jack and Googily (by Meg Rosoff) and The Mighty Larouche (by Matthew Olshan) and an art print from the book The Wind in the Willows.



Frank Viva is an illustrator, artist, designer and managing director at the Toronto branding and design agency Viva & Co. Shown here are a selection of his illustrations from the books  Young Frank, Architect, Along a Long Road, A Long Way Away, A Trip to the Bottom of the World with Mouse, Outstanding in the Rain, and Young Charlotte, Filmaker.

Just in case you are looking for just a few more beautiful books to check out here are three more!


The Story of Jospeh-Armand Bombardier is a personal project by Calgary illustrator Jacqui Lee.
Isabelle Arsenault
is an illustrator from Quebec whose work can be seen in the book Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt.
Teagan White is an American designer and illustrator who wrote and showcases her adorable and intricate illustrations in the book Adventures with Barefoot Critters.


One thought on “Bringing Storybooks to Life

  • Bobbie Belke

    How interesting! Love to see how the very different artistic interpretations are all beautiful. Let’s collaberate on a children’s story!

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