Book Review - Little Big Books: Illustration for Children's Picture Books

“Easily swayed by visual magic - and easily enchanted by rhyme or reason, well, rhyme, rhythm, riddles, redundancy, repetition, and a strong splash of silly ridicule - children love the immediacy of picture books and their power to seduce and delight”

With a variety of illustration books available on the market, stumbling across ‘Little Big Books’ (whilst developing an animated series for children) was a breath of fresh air. Notoriously hit and miss, good books about illustrators or illustration inspiration are few and far between. What ‘Little Big Books’ (Robert Klanten & Hendrik Hellige - Gestalten) gets right is the focus of the imagery and a brief insight into the illustrator, leaving you wanting to know and see more. It’s an interesting showcase of children’s illustrators work ranging from a multitude of traditional techniques and styles to purely digital, it is overflowing with stunning artwork of a whole array of illustrators both new and established.

It is a really addictive coffee table book for those looking for a whiff of inspiration or a catalogue for those looking for specific styles or a particular illustrator. I was lucky enough to nab a copy from the local library and have flicked through the pages on a number of occasions, each time spotting someone new who caught my eye.

It also has a number of really interesting interviews with people from all aspects of illustration and children's publishing, talking about where their inspiration comes from, publishing, education, the future of children’s books all of which feel very personal and passionate.

I am hoping this won’t be a one off and I look forward to hopefully seeing another volume from Gestalten soon.

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