The Appealing Children's Book Illustration Styles

Creativity Begins with Illustrations

As a child, we have all been impressed by Dr. Seuss books. The impactful images, the bright colors, and of course the stories have given a happy childhood to millions. The stories were everyone’s favorite, however, the essence of the books were actually the illustrations. This is because a child picks a lot more in visuals than in writing. Let’s be honest, how many of you still remember the Grinch, Mr. Knox, Horton, etc. All of you do. However, can you recall the story? Supposedly no! Hold on! What made you remember the books then? Yes, exactly, the characters the illustrations of the book. You remember the Grinch because of its bright green color and its funky appearance. The illustration is one main reason for people remembering Dr. Seuss's books more than any other stories they heard as a child.

Nonetheless, children’s illustration books are used by parents from around the globe to give better exposure to things to their kids. In fact, to make their own storybooks for their kids, parents opt for children’s book illustration services, they come up with creative ideas as illustrations to add in their books for the children. There is no limit to your thoughts when you are creating something for the children. However, for the children's illustration books, there are some standards to follow in order to gain a perfect piece of the story for them. Continue reading this if you want to know more about how to choose perfect illustrations and what styles to pick for your book.

These are the nine popular children’s book illustration styles

  • 1. Whimsical Style
  • 2. Water Color Style
  • 3. Fantasy Style
  • 4. Cute Cartoons Style
  • 5. Whacky Cartoons Style
  • 6. Realistic Style
  • 7. Line Drawings
  • 8. Sketchy Drawings
  • 9. Stylized Style

1. Whimsical Style

To have a funny, happy, and gentle effect in the book, this style is widely used. It takes a kid to the carefree zone where he/she can imagine a lot more than what the book has to offer. The characters in comic books are usually a depiction of this style. It is also preferred when it comes to creating adventurous characters. This style is also full of colors, this means, they can hold the interest of the kids in an even better way.

2. Water Color Style

The light, gentle, and comforting look is all that a kid demands for. For their nascent minds, the watercolor style is perfect. Their effect is soft that gives a child the space to rethink things and create an imaginary world outside of the book. However, the popularity of this style is among all age groups. It is more of a painting style that provides a sentimental image to the child as well. It ignites the liveliness into a child’s mind.

3. Fantasy Style

Looking at the word you may have understood the meaning. The artwork used in this style is full of rich colors, enchanting characters, and lively personalities. Fantasies are usually the stories that revolve around fairy tales and prince charming existence. For that, the subjects are castles, crowns, royalties, princes, princesses, dragons, etc. These can be easily created by digital software in real-time.

4. Cute Cartoons Style

Who in this world doesn’t like cartoons? Everyone does, especially when they are cute and adorable. This style is comprised of cute artwork that can easily grab a child’s attention. These characters are completely created and are not related to real-life at all. For instance, a Monkey protecting the zoo or an elephant creating some house. Your child can connect to the characters and objects smoothly in this design.

5. Whacky Cartoons Style

Here is the catch, not all kids like to watch cute cartoons. Some want to have a touch of funny and whacky personalities. If you want to make something different to please your audience, then this style is perfect. This style more often uses bright colors, shiny characters, and bold features that highlight the subject’s existence. They have funky looking eyes, weird hands, big eyes, etc. all of this is done to bring a lively character into existence.

6. Realistic Style

The realistic style creates visuals of real life that portray events and personalities of people like actual pictures. It is usually used for serious books or where there is a learning for life. They are usually not picked by many authors or illustrators because they want to keep that friendliness of the content to the kids. However, these are best suitable when you want to express phenomena of certain things and want to show them how in realism the characters would look.

7. Line Drawings

Line drawings are simple and elegant. They are not stuffed with colors yet they can perfectly depict the characters. These are a little tricky to make, as there are no colors. But the illustrations artists put in their utmost creativity to make those look interesting and unique. However, these styles allow kids to continue thinking about different perspectives and fill in colors themselves. The best example of these could be the coloring books where there are only outlines and a child is supposed to fill in colors.

8. Sketchy Drawings

Sketchy drawings are neither properly filled images, not simple outlines, these are actually a mixture of both. They are unrefined but still look attractive when the final picture arrives. They are simple sketches with different shades of black and white to make a character more impactful. To your surprise, these designs cost more than any other style. This is because the creativity involved in it is higher as compared to others.

9. Stylized Style

This style sets you free. The illustrations are however not anything close to reality. You can make anything you want and merge any aspects you desire to make your book look interesting. Geometric shapes are a major part of this style. Nonetheless, the illustrations are simple, elegant, yet impactful. Children love this style a lot.

Ways to Use Illustrations in Books

You know the styles now. It is time to figure out how to use the illustrations in the book. The types or formats are divided into four major categories where you can adjust the illustrations. You can use the artwork in these creative ways. Make sure you choose a type wisely.

1. Spot Illustrations

Spot illustrations are usually a small character or object. They at the most capture quarter page. Little creatures like butterflies, umbrellas, bugs, etc. often come under this category. They are added to give the blank story page a colorful or attractive touch. They can be used as corner page decoration, chapter headings, or within a text to give meaning to it.

2. Half Page Illustrations

Half page illustrations are interesting. They are spread on almost of the page but the other half has text on it. This is a good trick to grab a child’s attention because they will continue to read with the visual presentation on the other half of the page. The illustrations are medium sized and are not much detailed.

3. Single Page Illustrations

This type of illustration occupies a whole page. This gives room for adding characters with many colors and additional features. These illustrations also enable the child to think creatively. However, at times, it becomes boring because the other page has complete text which may cause the child to lose interest in the book. Nonetheless, the positive side that by looking at the pictures, the child’s interest can also be held back. You can also choose to add text on the page if you want.

4. Double (Spread) Page Illustrations

This type is one of the best when it comes to illustrating a children’s book. You illustrate images with the story and then explain them with the text on them. A child can easily understand what is happening in the story by looking at the colorful background. This gives the reader the motivation to read and see if the background and story match or no. This type leaves a huge impact on a kid’s mind and enhances their curiosity to the fullest. Books that have double-page illustrations are the best treat for your child.

How to Choose the Right Types and Style of Illustration?

Before you proceed to any decision, it is important for you to choose the right type and style for the children’s book illustration. You may think what is such a big deal in it and this is where you are wrong. Because in order to gain the desired results or to convey the right messages, you need to make sure that you choose the correct ways.

- The Essence and Purpose of the Book

To understand which illustrations to use, you need to dig into the purpose and essence of your book. The first question you need to ask yourself is what type of book you are writing? Is it funny? Is it thoughtful? Scary? Bold and courageous? Or anything in this regard. Once you know the answer to it, then decide the essence of your book i.e. what lesson you want to give from your book.

To understand which illustrations to use, you need to dig into the purpose and essence of your book. The first question you need to ask yourself is what type of book you are writing? Is it funny? Is it thoughtful? Scary? Bold and courageous? Or anything in this regard. Once you know the answer to it, then decide the essence of your book i.e. what lesson you want to give from your book.

- Decide the Target Audience

This is the big question. Who is going to read your book? Ask yourself this question over and over again until you hear yourself say the answer out loud. For your book to have the right illustrations, it is extremely important to know what is your target audience.

For example, if you are writing a book for let’s say 3 to 5 years old, you need to make sure you add more colorful and creative illustrations than some dull or dark characters. The illustration used for them should preferably be spread over double pages to hold their attention and interest.

- Align Your Idea with The Right Illustrations

Once you know what exactly you are opting for, it is time to align your imagination with the story. The illustrations should complement your writing style. If you write in a serious tone, the characters should abide by your style. You can make multiple characters and decide which one to choose for your book.

Things to Avoid When Illustrating a Children’s Book

- Do Not Over Stuff

When you are creating illustrations for a children’s book, it is appreciated if you manage to keep things simple and decent. A child is not at the stage to understand complex structures of vivid characters, therefore, simplicity is the best policy here. Overstuffing may cause loose of interest of the child.

- Do Not Attempt If You Are Not an Illustrator

There are many good and highly skilled children's book illustrator for hire in the market. All you have to do is reach them and tell them your requirement. Because if you do not know how to illustrate, then this is only going to be a waste of time and energy and eventually there will be no positive results in the end. Therefore, hiring an illustration artist is the best idea.

- Do Not Trust Just Anyone

You have put in untiring efforts in the creation of your book, do not let just anyone ruin it by making useless illustrations. Therefore, when you hire an illustrator, make sure you ask them for previous work and samples. This way you will know if he/she can work along or no.

- Do Not Contradict Your Words and Illustrations

It is necessary that all your words are aligned with the illustrations you make. If the illustrations are vague or unclear, then this may cause a contradiction between the story and the pictures. Therefore, choose every character and its association with the story after examining each aspect of the story.

Benefits of Illustrated Children’s Books

The article has discussed how to choose the right illustration style and type so far. However, another main question that arises is why should you create illustrated books for children. To answer that, here are the listed reasons and benefits of illustrations in books.

- Illustrations Motivate Children to Read

As a child, you must have seen your mom giving you illustrated books during reading time. You may also remember that the only thing you were happy about reading was that you got to see pictures in the book. This is the motivation that comes in when a child is asked to read books.

- Illustrations Strengthen the Visual Thinking

Visual thinking is a trending concept today. It means that the child is able to visualize things while reading any story or a book. The ability to think and the effort to understand things increase when a child encounters a book that has the right illustrations which match with the book plot.

- Illustrations Enhance Children’s Creative Skills

Every child has a creative side. However, it is necessary to push their creativity in order for them to come out of their comfort zone. Illustrations make this task super easy for you to achieve. They activate the creative side of the child and encourage them to come up with their own stories.

- Illustrations Improve Cognitive Thinking

One of the highly needed skills in today’s generation is the cognitive skill. The ability to think, question, identify, and analyze subject matters and objects in order to gain knowledge. Illustrated books help children to do it all by giving an open ground to think and question realities.

- Illustrations Improve Academic Efficiency of Children

A child who reads has more exposure to the world than the one who doesn’t. This is because the books have illustrations that ignite their curiosity to think and develop things on their own. This helps in the improvement of the academic efficiency of the children. They will be good learners and leaders in the future.

- Illustrations Can Make Complex Concepts Simple

Through the right artwork, you can explain complex phenomena like photosynthesis in simple ways. Illustrations give you the space to create objects and subjects with more fun and creative approach. This eventually leads to a better understanding of things.

What is the importance of illustration in Children’s books?

Illustration allows out of the box thinking and critical analysis of the children. The kids can come up with different ideas with the help of the right illustration tools.

What are the best examples of illustrated children’s books?

If you want your child to understand and learn things at a faster pace, then there is no comparison of books written by the great Dr. Seuss. Make sure you buy some of those for your child.

Are Illustrated drawing books are a part of the children’s book?

Yes, they are a part of children’s illustrated books. They are used to enhance the creative skills of the children.

Pricing Plans


$49 $123

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  • - 1 Creative Designer
  • - Turn Around Time 4 Days
  • - 1 Revision
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  • - Dedicated Project Manager


$179 $511

  • - 4 Illustration Design
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  • - 5 Revision
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  • - Full Ownership
  • - Dedicated Project Manager


$329 $1079

  • - 10 Illustration Design
  • - 4 Creative Designer
  • - 100% vector based work
  • - Turn Around Time 8 Days
  • - Unlimited Revisions
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  • - File Format
    (JPEG, PNG, Ai, PSD, PDF)
  • - Money Back Guarantee
  • - Full Ownership
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$799 $3169

  • - 20 Illustration Design
  • - 6 Creative Designer
  • - 100% vector based work
  • - Turn Around Time 8 Days
  • - Unlimited Revisions
  • - FREE Color Options
  • - File Format
    (JPEG, PNG, Ai, PSD, PDF)
  • - Money Back Guarantee
  • - Full Ownership
  • - Dedicated Project Manager
  • - Prioritized Support