Children's Illustrators Who Shaped My World

I remember staring at children’s books before I could even read. You might remember a cleverly-written book, but it’s the pictures from children’s books that stick with us, don’t you think?

And because we look at them when we are little, the pictures in books can be incredibly formative. Much of what I pictured and imagined as a kid was informed by wonderful children’s illustrators–including how I pictured my kids when I played house–after the jump.

  • Mary Blair 1 of 8
    Mary Blair
    Mary Blair's images are how I picture childhood. Because I stared at her illustrations in my Treasury of Little Golden Books before I could read, I made up stories based on the images alone and they imprinted on me like a duck on its mother or, less quaint--like a werewolf on a newborn baby.
    Photo Credit: Francine Green
  • Garth Williams 2 of 8
    Garth Williams
    You know how you picture Charlotte's web spelling out "Some Pig" in your mind? You're picturing what Garth Williams drew for you. And the same thing goes for that little house in the big woods. Once you've seen Garth William's illustrations, you can't picture Fern or Laura Ingalls any other way.
    Photo Credit: Dooby Brain
  • I am Toad and Toad is Me 3 of 8
    I am Toad and Toad is Me
    I can't think of a single character I related more to as a child than Toad, sympathetically written and unforgettably illustrated by Arnold Lobel. Can you ever forget Toad's striped one-piece bathing suit?
    Photo Credit: ThoughtfulSpot
  • William Steig 4 of 8
    William Steig
    Steig drew animals living lives of intrigue, despair, and hope. In short, he drew animals they way I imagined them and I imagined them the way he drew them. Steig's charming drawings are inseparable from his delightful text. If I could have any one person's talent--I might take his.
    Photo Credit: Little Lamb Books
  • Eloise Wilkins 5 of 8
    Eloise Wilkins
    Full-faced and doe-eyed, the children and babies of Eloise Wilkins were the children and babies I pictured when I played house and imagined having my own kids some day.
    Photo Credit: Try Whistling This
  • My daughter looks like an Eloise Wilkins illustration 6 of 8
    My daughter looks like an Eloise Wilkins illustration
    In fact, I think my youngest daughter looks like a walking, talking Eloise Wilkins drawing!
  • Amelia Bedelia by Fritz Siebel 7 of 8
    Amelia Bedelia by Fritz Siebel
    Amelia Bedelia? Kind of a doofus. Her escapades were my first brushes with domesticity and the taxing requirements of managing a household: DRAW the drapes? DRESS the chicken? That's nuts! I learned from Amelia Bedelia, however, that if you can make a tasty lemon meringue pie nothing else matters. I still can't manage a pie crust. Oh my gosh. I'm inferior to Ameilia Bedelia. That could be the root of all my self-esteem issues. Pie school, stat.
    Photo Credit: Rachel Swartley
  • Bread and Jam for Frances 8 of 8
    Bread and Jam for Frances
    Written by Russell Hoban and illustrated by Lillian Hoban, this book turned me into a foodie--at the very least, it made me hungry every time I read it. The hard boiled egg with the little salt shaker makes my mouth water every time.
    Photo Credit: Iron Chef Dining Hall

Which children’s illustrator changed the way you think about the world?

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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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