The First Muse: Children’s Books Illustrations

While perusing upcoming exhibitions in the Midwest for a future post I came across an exhibition of the illustrations of Ezra Jacks Keats at the Akron Art Museum in Ohio. This marks the first major exhibition of this award winning author and illustrator, who was the first author to feature an African-American protagonist in modern children’s books. Keat’s was indeed an influential author and artist; his books have served as inspiration for generations and his illustrations stand alone a beautiful works of art. Memories of seeing his 1964 book, Whistle for Willie, as an animation popped into my head as I read about this upcoming exhibition, causing me to further reminisce about other favorite children’s books. It has been a long time since I thought about the books that enchanted me many years ago and sparked my first interest in art and drawing. Though illustrators are not always taken as seriously as say conceptual painters in the fine art world, one must pay tribute to them because illustrations are undeniably the first form of art any child sees. Illustrators were the first artists I ever knew and from a very young age I wanted to be like them; I can truly thank illustrators for igniting my passion for art; they were indeed my first muse.

Here is a compilation of some of my favorite children’s books that I adored as a child, all of which have absolutely gorgeous illustrations.

Image

Ezra Jacks Keats, from The Snowy Day, 1962

Image

Ezra Jacks Keats, from Whistle for Willie, 1964

Let’s take a walk down memory lane and visit some of other favorite children’s books…

Image

Ludwig Bemelmans, from Madeline, 1939

Image

Dr. Seuss,  from Green Eggs and Ham, 1960

Image

Virginia Lee Burton, from Katy the Big Snow Shovel, 1943

Image

Richard Scary, from I Am a Bunny, 1963

Image

Shel Silverstein, from The Giving Tree, 1964

Image

Eric Carle, from The Very Hungry Caterpillar, 1969

Image

Clement Hurd, from Goodnight Moon, 1947

Image

Stan and Jan Berenstain, from The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room, 1983

Image

Tedd Arnold, No Jumping on the Bed!, 1987

Image

Jan Brett, The Mitten, 1989

Image

Marcia Brown, Stone Soup, 1947

Image

Esphyr Slobodkina, from Caps for Sale, 1940

Image

K.Y Craft, from The Twelve Dancing Princesses, 1989

Image

Maurice Sendak, from Where the Wild Things Are, 1963

Image

Wanda Gagfrom Millions of Cats, 1928

Image

Barbara Cooney, from Miss Rumhius, 1982

Image

Charles Santore, from The Little Mermaid, 1993

Image

N.C. Wyeth, Treasure Island, 1883

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s