This is the post that should have appeared on Friday to finish out my celebration of Children's Book Week! Alas, I was not available. And then when I was, Typepad was not.
How much do I love illustration? SO MUCH. The quality of artwork that can be put in the hands of a child (or someone like me who is crazy for good illustration) is simply amazing. Here are some of my favorite illustrators:
1. Melissa Sweet. (Clearly)
Some of her illustrations are simple and sweet (It's Spring! and Love and Kisses) and some are far more layered and complex (like those found in A River of Words) and I love them all. She uses color, collage, words, and ephemera in ways that appeal to every ounce of my scrapbooking/paper loving soul.
2. Sarah Gibb
Sarah Gibb illustrates fairy tales better than anyone who has ever lived. The end.
3. Oliver Jeffers
4. Woop Studios
Woop Studios is a collective of graphic designers who worked on Harry Potter, and they are brilliant. This book is one of my favorites of all-time. You can buy prints of everything in the book (and so much more) on their website.
5. G. Brian Karas
G. Brian Karas was one of my first favorite illustrators as an adult after I began working at the library in Cheyenne in 2001... his artwork is subtle, quieter, but no less lovely. He has illustrated many of our favorite read-aloud stories over the years.
6. Sophie Blackall
Sophie Blackall is best known for illustrating the Ivy and Bean series, but she's illustrated a whole bunch of picture books we love. The wild boars of Meet Wild Boars and Wild Boars Cook might reside in the best picture book characters of all time category. One of these days I might buy a print from her directly.
7. Jen Corace
8. Brigette Barrager
Kind of like Sarah Gibb, but not exactly. She is an up-and-comer, and I am excited to see more from her. I saw an illustration she did imagining what Flavia de Luce might look like (from the series by Alan Bradley) and it was fantastic. Incidentally, our most played games are the memory games illustrated by Melissa Sweet and Brigette Barrager. I still can't beat my children at memory to save my life, but whatever. At least the cards are pretty.
9. Lauren Child
Lauren Child is the genius behind Charlie and Lola, but she has illustrated a whole bunch of other things too—I decided I needed this copy of The Secret Garden while in Austin in February before I knew how much it cost. (Luckily for me, it was oddly marked down some 75% at Anthropologie of all places—bonus!!)
10. Emily Gravett
Emily Gravett illustrates her own stories. Some of her stories appeal to the youngest listeners (Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear and Monkey and Me, for example) and some have a lot more complexity. They are all wonderful, though.
Oh, books. I didn't even get to the jFiction lists I had planned to share. Maybe I should turn this into an occasional series : )