Bright Artists Celebrate Picture Book Month
Illustration by Ramona Kaulitzki
November is a time for crunchy leaves, pumpkin spice flavored everything, and our favorite — Picture Book Month! To celebrate, we asked Bright picture book makers to pay tribute to their all-time favorites, with stylistic renditions of the books that influenced them the most as children and as illustrators. Enjoy!
This is probably the first picture book I can remember reading. It’s got everything: stunning illustrations and textures, and it also teaches counting and the life cycle. A classic!
- Daniel Duncan about The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
The Brambly Hedge books were always totally magical to me. They were filled with beautifully detailed, charming illustrations that I could look at over and over again. To this day my favorite thing to draw and create is charming and sweet illustrations of little animals and creatures!
- Suzie Mason, about The Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem
This book came out around the year I was born and it’s one of the most prominent picture books from my childhood. It also inspired my love for owls!
- Lucy Fleming, about Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
The story of Peter Pan is melancholy, but hopeful at the same time. Growing up is not as easy as it seems — and Peter Pan inspires me to continue believing in Neverland!
- Benedetta Capriotti, about Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
The use of color in the illustrations is so effective; Tomi Ungerer shows the essential using blue, black, and yellow — the result is a mix of mystery and tenderness for a both scary and delicate story.
- Diego Funck, about The Three Robbers by Tomi Ungerer
There was nothing precious or cute or condescending about the good Dr’s storytelling. It was all chaos and energy and fun swirling around a great big heart. Horton truly helped to strengthen my love for art and story when I was child.
- Scott Brown, about Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss
When I think back to my childhood, I most distinctly remember books by Ezra Jack Keats. I must’ve spent hours poring over the beautiful colors, textures, and patterns. I especially loved the story, Whistle for Willie.
- Meghan Templehof, about Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats
This was maybe the first story I remember my mother reading to me as a child. I loved the rhythm of the refrain and how in the end, the smallest most humble cat turned out to be the most special. I’ve always carried this story close to my heart.
- Lorian Tu-Dean, about Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag
I’ve chosen to illustrate the story of Little Red Riding Hood because it was always the scariest story for me when I was young.
- Diane Ewen, about Little Red Riding Hood
My inspiration has always come from Disney and Pixar, particularly the film Ratatouille. I love the character Remy, his passion for food, and his personality.
- Sakshi Mangal, about Ratatouille
A re-imaging of a scene from my favorite childhood book by one of my favorite illustrators; a copy of which I have treasured for years. I was always slightly jealous that Sophie got to have a tiger in her house, even if it did eat all the food.
- Steph Marshall, about The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr
A visit to the library when I was a small boy was always exciting. I clearly remember when mum took out Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. I just loved the story of Max and those brilliant monsters, and I was mesmerized by the beautifully hatched drawings. I think this was definitely the start of me wanting to draw stories.
- Fred Blunt, about Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
His homage is to Picture Book Month in general
I really loved Matilda because of her unremitting desire to learn and read at such a young age. I definitely read more in the hopes that I could use telekinesis too.
- Aaron Cushley, about Matilda by Roald Dahl
Mog’s Christmas by Judith Kerr is the first picture book that I remember reading by myself with no adults helping. I probably couldn’t read every one of the words but I could read every one of the pictures. I’ve reimagined Mog as a kitten, as small as I was when I first discovered the empowering magic of a good picture book.
- Nanette Regan, about Mog’s Christmas by Judith Kerr
I loved Beatrix Potter books as a child. Her animals are so full of character and personality. This illustration is based on The Tale of Peter Rabbit. I remember it for its fun and adventure in my favorite place, The Lake District.
- Christine Gore, about The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
I love this book because it reminds me the summer adventures when I was a child.
- Sr. Sanchez, about The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
As a child I didn’t own that many books (I’ve made up for that now!!), but my absolute favorite was Winnie The Pooh. I still have it now, all taped up so it doesn’t fall apart. I spent hours drawing Pooh and Piglet, more time looking at the pictures than reading the words. This is one of my favorite Pooh stories, this and the one when Pooh gets stuck and Rabbit uses his legs to dry tea towels!
- Pauline Reeves, about Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
This was one of my favourite books when I was little. I made my mum read it to me over and over.
- Alex Patrick, about The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr
By happenstance, I once grabbed the copy of Peter Pan at my library that was illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. I’d always loved the story, but it was the way her illustrations brought it to life that made me realize that I would become an illustrator myself.
- Joshua Heinsz, about Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
As a child, I loved picture books based on classic fairy tales. Hans Christian Andersen’s inspirational story, The Snow Queen, has remained one of my favorites.
- Teemu Juhani, about The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
When I was a little, I remember watching the “Really Rosie” animation tv special which had stories by Maurice Sendak and songs sung by Carol King. I loved it so much that I sought other books by Maurice Sendak in the library. One of Maurice’s books in particular has always been a favorite of mine, which was Pierre A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and Prologue. So I chose the moment where Pierre puts himself in the Lion’s mouth to eat him.
- Edwardian Taylor, about A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and Prologue by Maurice Sendak
When I turned six, my godmother gave me a series of four books that quickly became my childhood favorites: the Four Seasons books from the Brambly Hedge collection by Jill Barklem.
Although Barklem’s illustration style doesn’t have anything to do with the graphic voice that I went on to develop as an illustrator, I still love everything about them: the exquisite watercolor work, the endless details, the richness of the floral elements, and most of all, those glorious illustrated pies, tarts and cakes with cream and fruits on top.
My favorite book from the series was Winter Story probably because we never have snow in Lisbon and it sounded so romantic — here you have my re-imagined cover of this precious book along with a modern version of the endearing Toadflax siblings.
- Sarah Infante, about The Brambly Hedge series by Jill Barklem
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