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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Do you illustrate your own children's books?

I love to write. I love to draw. And I love to tell simple stories to little kids. But is it possible to combine all these? Can an author illustrate her own books, or is that like a musician trying to record voice and music both at once instead of on separate tracks? Perhaps we have to separate our words from the pictures, so someone else can interpret and invite the reader to a wider world. And yet... there do seem to be a lot of us out there who love to both write and draw.

As for myself, I've released a few children's books with my own pictures, but I rather suspect the ones where my publisher finds the images for me look much more professional. Still, here's a sample from A Bible Book of Colors to whet your appetite, followed by some reviews and coffee suggestions from some children's books not illustrated by their authors (i.e. real professional children's books!)

Finished reading my pictures? In that case, find your favorite coffee mug, fill it with your favorite brew, and choose another book to read with your kids:

First are two books by Yael Manor - Ethan and Emma are Twins, and Sorry, Hug and Kiss. Twins introduces the concept of where babies come from beautifully, following with a nice illustration of where language comes from too. Sorry offers wise lessons for childhood behavior, but uses longer words and might be a somewhat harder read. But it's beautifully illustrated too and would add nicely to the first in a child's collection. Enjoy them both with some bright lively easy-drinking two-star coffee.

Next are some move Oliver and Jumpy stories, numbers 16 through 18. This collection includes a nicely fanciful sci-fi entry that older children might really like to read to younger siblings. Plus there's the enjoyable image of a cat who's lost his memory, trying to figure out who and what he is. Drink some mild, light and crisp two-star coffee as you read these light crisp tales.

Then there's Ernie the Elephant in Henry Brags, by Leela Hope. Another wise lesson is offered in hare-and-the-tortoise style as children learn not to tease each other as Ernie and Henry race. Enjoy this quick tale with a quick, mild, light, crisp two-star coffee.


E. Townsend Schmidt said...

Count me as one that both illustrates and writes. I won't link to my book on fear of it being unsolicited tackiness. I have "Clarissa fell into the water!" on the Kindle store and have another book in the works based off a cute sheep doodle I did. Sometimes the drawing gives birth to the story.

Sheila Deeth said...

Ah, you should have left a link. I shall go look for it. (And now I'm thinking of that famous sheep called Shaun.)

Sheila Deeth said...

I found it, and looks lovely! Good luck with it.

Toinette Thomas said...

I haven't tried to illustrate a book yet, but I did design my book cover. To me, illustrating seems a more intimate task, one that will not take lightly. Perhaps after I've proven to myself I can do it, I will still have a professional do it to compare.