On brown bears and blue horses

One last picture book to finish the week before starting my pile of books from the library: Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See. What I find so interesting is that the words are by Bill Martin Jr, but it is the illustrations, the magnificent bright pictures by Eric Carle that everyone remembers. His illustrations are so vivid (just see the beautifully blue horse below) that it took me a while to realise that he had not written the book too. This is a great example of why the ‘picture’ part of picture books are so important. To children who can’t read, or who are learning to read, the pictures are their way of connecting to the story. They need to be perfect! And Eric Carle’s pictures are perfect.

Word Hunters, a book I talked about before, is sprinkled by illustrations by Terry Whidbourne (lovely illustrations), and he is given the title of ‘author’ or ‘co-creator’ of the book: Word Hunters, by Nick Earls & Terry Whidbourne. However, unfortunately in the case of picture books, we only remember the author – ‘Possum Magic by Mem Fox’, or ‘Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown’. Sometimes the illustrators are forgotten. I am guilty of this myself. The illustrations are what, as children, we identify as the story.

(The illustrator of Possum Magic is Julie Vivas, and Clement Hurd illustrates Goodnight Moon, by the way)

What other picture books do you remember from your childhood that had mesmerising pictures? Books that you loved because of the illustrations?


One comment

  1. Julie Vivas is a wonderful illustrator – her imagining of The Nativity is just the greatest…love those angels in workboots! Oh, and Jeannie Baker…I still remember my grade 3 teacher presenting “Where the Forest Meets the Sea” to our class with wonder when it had just been released.

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