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Children's Book Illustration


Children's book illustration is "a genre apart, even a true work of art" (1), which is why it is our passion at the Jolie Galerie.


It is so amazing to discover the multitude of techniques used by illustrators, to enter their studio and read their world through the pages of their books.


First, the tools used! There are many: some artists use a graphic palette, others pastels, torn papers including paint, acrylic or oil, and still others will alternate, mix or combine markers, ink and even coffee!


The children's book is rich in all these techniques because "they are always used for the sake of expressiveness and aesthetics" (2)


To read an illustration is to look at its composition as a whole, with all that characterizes it: is the illustration large or small, is it surrounded by an outline or, on the contrary, free on a white background, is there text, how is this text inserted in the illustration, what typography is chosen? Is the main character short, tall, absent?



Children's Book Illustrations


All of these details (which are not!) contribute to the telling of the story and its meaning. The wolf is not going to scare the same, if it is small, hidden in a dark corner, or if it is large with its mouth wide open. What if he was missing from the page! Worst! Or if we only saw his feet!

From page to page, our wolf's size will punctuate the reading or story aloud of the one who reads for others.


“All these graphic elements are therefore part of the means available to an illustrator to express ideas, emotions and feelings and to visually tell a story, all in a style that is his own. This is far from saying that the illustrator creates alone, cut off from others ”. (3)

The children's book illustrator is a composer, and with his skill he offers a work that tells. You can then look and enjoy an illustration without the text that gave birth to it. We can hang it on the wall, nicely framed, it still tells us the story. We can re-edit it in wallpaper format, it still tells us the story.



(1) et (2) Marie-Claude HUBERT (IUFM de Basse-Normandie)

(3) Alamichel D., Albums, mode d’emploi, Cycles 1, 2, 3, CNDP, 2000


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