Published on September 26th, 2014 | by Bright Kids Books
10 Children’s Picture books worthy of an art gallery
Have you ever found yourself staring in awe at the illustrations in children’s picture books? Or perhaps been tempted to rip out a select page, frame it and hang it on your wall? We certainly have… been tempted, that is. These are the 10 Children’s Picture books we think are worthy of an art gallery. The big question is, have we missed any? Please leave a comment below and let us know if there’s a children’s picture book you think is worthy of this list. Or hanging in an art gallery.
by Shaun Tan
A collection of three jaw-dropping children’s picture books: The Red Tree, The Lost Thing, and The Rabbits, by New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Shaun Tan.
A girl finds a bright spot in a dark world. A boy leads a strange, lost creature home. And a group of peaceful creatures loses their home to cruel invaders. Three wonderful stories – and beautifully illustrated – about how we lose and find what matters most to us.
by Aaron Becker
A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure and danger abound. Red marker pen in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon and a flying carpet which carry her on a spectacular journey …who knows where? In this exquisitely illustrated, wordless picture book, an ordinary child is launched on an extraordinary, magical journey towards her greatest and most rewarding adventure.
by Oliver Jeffers
Wilfred wants a pet, so when a moose just happens to wander by, the boy claims him as his own and dedicates a lot of time to teaching Marcel the rules of being a good one. They fill their days exploring the countryside and taking long walks. One day, however, Wilfred discovers that his moose might have a whole other life that he knows nothing about. He must figure out how to process this shocking discovery and decide if he can accept the fact that he must alter the boundaries of their friendship. A beautifully-illustrated children’s picture book, with a witty and thought-provoking story, exploring the concept of ownership.
by Andrea Beaty
Rosie is quiet and shy, and always trying to solve problems with her inventions. She keeps her dreams and creations to herself, until one day her great-great-aunt Rose visits and mentions that she has always dreamed of flying. So Rosie sets about building a contraption to help make her aunt’s dream come true. Her invention hovers then crashes – a complete disaster – or is it? Aunt Rose helps Rosie see that the only way to fail is to quit. The whimsical, charming illustrations and rhyming text complement the inspiring message at the heart of this book. No glitter, no fairies, no princesses, only the faintest touch of pink, and a special appearance by Rosie the Riveter. Children’s picture books don’t come too much more unique and uplifting than this!
by Kathryn Otoshi
Zero is a big round number. When she looks at herself, she just sees a hole right in her center. Every day she watches the other numbers line up to count: “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 …!” “Those numbers have value. That’s why they count,” she thinks. But how could a number worth nothing become something? Zero feels empty inside. She watches One having fun with the other numbers. One has bold strokes and squared corners. Zero is big and round with no corners at all. “If I were like One, then I can count too,” she thinks. So she pushes and pulls, stretches and straightens, forces and flattens herself, but in the end she realizes that she can only be Zero. As budding young readers learn about numbers and counting, they are also introduced to accepting different body types, developing social skills and character, and learning what it means to find value in yourself and in others. Simply a brilliant picture book.
by Dallas Clayton
Based on the simple concept of dreaming big, An Awesome Book! is the inspiring debut work of Los Angeles writer/artist Dallas Clayton. An Awesome Book! encourages kids not to limit their dreams and to dream ‘… not a million quiet dreams’ but ‘a million dreams that roar’. The illustrations are creative and highly stylised – complementing the lyrical prose perfectly. Best of all, adults will love reading this over and over… whilst being reminded that they too have the capacity to dream big! Dallas Clayton’s first kids picture book, and still one of his best.
by Il Sung Na
This is one of those amazing children’s picture books that delights your eye from the very first page and holds your attention to the very end. Il Sung Na makes his English language debut with this gorgeous bedtime offering. With a spare, soothing text and beautifully rich and textured illustrations of a starry night.
by Mo Willems
Merging expressive cartoon network-esque illustrations with beautiful black and white photographs of Brooklyn, this riotous story tells how Trixie and Knuffle Bunny’s trip to the laundromat with Dad goes terribly wrong. When Trixie realizes her bunny’s been left behind, her attempts to alert Dad all the way home are unsuccessful… until Mum points out that Knuffel Bunny is missing and the family hotfoot it back to the laundromat. This stunningly illustrated book tells a brilliantly true-to-life tale about what happens when Daddy’s in charge and things go terribly, hilariously wrong. Better still, the ending is a pearler. Children’s picture books don’t come more enjoyable than this!
by Maurice Sendak
Where the Wild Things Are is one of those truly rare picture books that can be enjoyed equally by a child and a grown-up. If you disagree, then it’s been too long since you’ve attended a wild rumpus! The wild things – with their mismatched parts and giant eyes – manage somehow to be scary-looking without ever really being scary; at times they’re downright hilarious. Sendak’s defiantly run-on sentences – one of his trademarks – lend the perfect touch of stream of consciousness to the tale, which floats between the land of dreams and a child’s imagination. Truly one of the classic children’s picture books of all time – and as relevant today as it was when first published!
by Chris Van Dusen
A young boy decides to design a better car than the old family station wagon. Driven by a robot, his sleek, supercharged vehicle can drive underwater and fly, and the interior includes a snack bar and swimming pool. The story is told in jaunty rhyming couplets, but the fun really comes from the illustrations, which perfectly parody 1950s’ visions of the future, as depicted in such magazines as Popular Mechanics. The car glides past neat suburban homes with wide and perfect lawns, where everything is bathed in pastels. This may appeal more to parents (or, perhaps more accurately, to grandparents) who remember these renderings of technological dream worlds. If I built a car is one of those rare children’s picture books that simultaneously manages to seem old-fashioned AND futuristic.