January 11, 2016

My Favorite Illustrators

Hello everyone! I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite artists today. To me, a good illustrator helps train a child to have pictures in their head while they read, as that is not always a habit in kids. Even though I knew how to read pretty early, I loved seeing pictures that helped me imagine places and times far away. The combination of beautiful words and pictures in my childhood have influenced my love of reading, and that's pretty amazing.

In my search for illustrators I found/was reminded of so many more than I originally considered! So here are 11 of my favorite illustrators, inpo(in no particular order) people that make words come to life! 

Jan Brett

If you didn't guess from her Nordic sweater, Jan Brett produces brilliant Scandinavian illustrations for her own books, many of which are Christmas themed. The illustration above is from Trouble with Trolls and it's every bit as delightful as her other books. One of my favorites is called The Mitten, where one boy's lost mitten manages to fit more and more animals wanting to get cozy!

Breezy Brookshire
Breezy Brookshire is a newer discovery for me, and I only wish I saw her illustrations when I was younger! She draws and paints the cutest things. Really, her subject matter couldn't be better: she has everyday scenes of family and happiness, and has even illustrated a book about women in the Bible, called For Such a Time as This. You can see her website here. Below is one of her pictures.
Mary Engelbreit

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Mary Engelbreit has made thousands of adorable illustrations for years. She fills day-by-day calenders, books, and all sorts of merchandise with them! Her drawings are always cheerful, no matter what subject they are. She often pairs her illustrations with quotes and idioms, making an alltogether lovely combination.

Tasha Tudor

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          Ah,Tasha Tudor. What a wonderful woman. She embraced the old-fashioned and feminine, and used her talents to illustrate dozens of beautiful books and advent calendars. Truly, if you haven't seen Tasha's artwork, you are missing out! (and if the pictures look un-arranged, I apologize. They're so touchy when I try to line them up!)

Beatrix Potter

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Beatrix Potter, if you didn't know already, wrote the cutest little children's books ever! (Well, maybe not ever, but they're up there on the list of cute children's books!) From Peter Rabbit to Benjamin Bunny, Potter's classic, cozy pictures of woodland animals have enchanted children for years. There is also a movie about her life called Miss Potter, if you care to see it. I saw it a few years ago and enjoyed it, though I don't remember much about it. An illustration from The Tale of Peter Rabbit is below.

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Renee Graef

Talk about creating memories! If I had to decide who my favorite illustrator was from this list, it would probably be Graef, just because of the nostalgia behind each one of her Little House and Kirsten books! Last year I sent my Kirsten book collection to be signed by her, and it was one of the most meaningful "presents" I had that year. Kirsten was my first American Girl doll, and I absolutely loved reading her books over and over. The illustrations are ingrained in my memory. And to top it all off, I just discovered that Graef illustrated most of the modern Little House books! That just about doubles the amount of sentiment I have for Graef's illustrations.
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Garth Williams

More Little House nostalgia here! I wonder what people who haven't read the Little House books (and I know it's crazy, but there are such people) think of the Graef and Williams illustrations. but to me, each picture is so connected to the words of the books and they fit so well with my reader's "eye" of what it ought to look like that I can't imagine them being any better.

And now for some honorable mentions:

Peter Spier-wrote many children's books and had a unique style!
Barbara Cooney-beautiful stories with beautiful pictures. Miss Rumphius and Roxaboxen are must-reads!
Dan Andreasen-illustrated the Felicity AND Samantha American Girl books-instant winner here!
Susan Winget-illustrator for the Lang company-cute drawings!

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Whew, that was a mouthful! I hope you all enjoyed seeing some pretty illustrations. All illustrations belong, of course, to the amazing people that drew them.
Who are your favorite illustrators?
Do you have a favorite from this list?


  1. Oh my goodness, you've listed all my favorites here! That is, I haven't heard of ALL these people, but...Tasha Tudor! Beatrix Potter! Renee Graef!!!! These people have definitely all had a special impact on my childhood. :-)

  2. I LOVE Renee Graef and Garth Williams... AH. THE MEMORIES THEY BRING ME. :-D

  3. These pictures are darling! Thanks for sharing. I never heard of Breezy Brookshire before, but I really like the sample you gave of her art. I love cute and cozy pictures!! And Mary Engelbreit's choice of colors is delicious. (I never heard of her, either.)

    The American Girl books, the Little House books, Beatrix Potter! Yes! They all have wonderful illustrations. ...And fond childhood memories, too--although I must admit I have never actually read the Little House books. (Yes, I'm one of those. ;)) We have the books, and many of my siblings have read them, but somehow I sort of missed them. :)

    This was an excellent idea for a post, Abby! :) I really enjoyed looking through all the pictures.

    ~Miss March

    1. Thank you, Miss March! It's so satisfying to share the things you love, and find that other people think the same way. :)
      *Gasp*, well I hope you have the chance to read the Little House books soon! ;)