Who is your favourite children’s illustrator and why?

KS illustrator children's books

“That’s a difficult one. I love the work of Pat Hutchins – Rosie’s Walk, The Surprise Party, Changes Changes, Clocks and More Clocks are my favourites. The beautiful colours, line work and simple humorous stories make me really happy. A more recent choice would have to be Marc Boutevant – I never tire of looking at his work, as each time you notice something new. I love the colours, and the wonderful world he creates full of amazing characters. Le Tour du Monde de Mouk is one of my all time favourite books.”

Kate Sutton, freelance illustrator

LMC illustrator children's books

This is a really hard one, and I’m not sure I can pick just one – my first is duo Allan Ahlberg and the late Janet Ahlberg, a husband and wife team who created beautiful children’s books including my favourite ‘The Jolly Postman’. This book brought me unlimited joy growing up – it was like going on an adventure every time I read it. The second is Oliver Jeffers, simply because of his incredible book ‘The Heart and the Bottle’. It’s a book about a little girl dealing with the death of her grandfather, and it makes me cry every time I read it. Dreamy illustrations coupled seamlessly with poignant prose – it’s enchanting.

Lizzie Mary Cullen, freelance illustrator and artist

PP illustrator children's books

The work of Paul Galdone has a special place in my heart; I spent many a winter’s evening as a child poring over the pages of The Tailypo (1977). Galdone, a Hungarian émigré to the US, had a warm, folksy pen-and-wash style reminiscent of Hogarth, and over a career spanning five decades illustrated folk and fairy tales from around the world. By the time of his death in 1986 he had 44 picture books to his name, and many other publications too. His mature style was masterly in its economy and judgement.

Paul Pensom, art director, Creative Review

KW children's books illustrator

The books that I used to love the most as a child were the Richard Scarry books, with illustrations such as the apple plane, the apple boat, the banana vehicle, the small pencil vehicles, and the endless accidents of smiling pigs. The illustrations, the detail and the layering was fantastic – not only would you get to know every single vegetable out there in the world, but you would also get a pretty good idea of how the plumbing and the pipes of your house worked from the foundations up, all in a easy to understand narrative and whilst being entertained by the bug bulldozer and kittens falling through manholes.

Kristjana S Williams, illustrator, Outline Artists

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  • Rachel Dean November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I loved the Richard Scarry books, but Shirley Hughes’ illustrations from My Naughty Little Sister were definitely a favourite too. They just captured children’s expressions so well.

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