2nd April 2016 Ghazzala Zubair

The Iconic Children’s Book Illustrators of All Time

We’re celebrating International Children’s Book Day as you’re only as old as you feel, and at thortful, we’re never too old to enjoy a brilliant children’s book. No one forgets the feeling of reading a book for the first time and being absorbed in its pages. The best stories leave us envious of everyone we recommend them to, who’ll experience them with fresh eyes. So, for International Children’s Book Day, we decided to write an ode to some of the most iconic children’s book illustrators of all time:

  1. Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar

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A book which has stood the test of time – this tale is still read to children all over the world. The vivid colours, organic patchwork style, and its relatable story of a caterpillar who comes into its own is an aspiring one for all children. 

2. Maurice Sendak, Where The Wild Things Are

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This novel really captured the spirit of a child’s imagination and encouraged us all to dare to explore our inner minds. Spike Jonze created a beautiful adaptation of the same book into a film, and the movie has since inspired a full-length novel (sans illustrations).

3. Dr. Seuss, Collected Works

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Dr. Seuss was both a talented American writer, and an illustrator. The Cat in the Hat, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Green Eggs and Ham, The Lorax etc. have all become synonymous with the powerful messages they convey. If there’s a life lesson to learn for both children and adults, you can bet you’ll find one on every page within his novels. 

4. Quentin Blake, Collaborations with Roald Dahl

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Roald Dahl deserves an honourable mention on this list for creating the beautifully vivid imagery that inspired Quentin Blake’s most famous work. Blake’s pen, ink and watercolour illustrations are completely distinct and pioneering in style: our personal favourites are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach and The Twits.

5. Thomas Taylor, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

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Of course this series had to feature in our definitive list and without a doubt, every child should read Harry Potter and immerse oneself in the magical world of Hogwarts. Harry’s friends (and enemies) have been illustrated thousands of times by talented fan art creators across the world, but Thomas Taylor’s original depiction of Harry in front of the Hogwarts Express for the first time transcends language barriers, borders and crucially, ages.