Picture Book Art

14 May

Admit it, we’re drawn to the art of picture books. It’s okay, we’re supposed to be! The artwork sets the stage for the story. It reflects the mood of the story. It provides another layer to the story. Based on those three things alone, it’s okay to judge a book by its cover. And once you open the cover, you will be amazed that such art is within its pages.

Another lovely reason to love picture book covers, is the immediate recognition we have when we see a book we know and love. When I taught emergent readers many years ago, we began the school year with a bulletin board of words they could ‘read’ by picture/logo association. These included words from traffic signs, chain stores, restaurants, product trademarks, etc. Advertising people know the power of visual memory. As soon as they started bringing in cereal boxes and magazine ads for our bulletin board, I started showing them book covers. Yes, they could ‘read’ titles based on the artwork. Wow! What a revelation for them… they were readers! They could read caterpillar and moon long before they could read sight words like is, the, and a.

I wish I could afford original kidlit artwork. But like any masterpiece, they are well outside my budget. What I have done, however, is the second best thing for me. I frame the paper covers of my books. I only wish I had thought of doing this earlier, because most of my covers are now tattered or discarded. This is an inexpensive way for me to surround myself with the masters. I have a few Caldecott Medal Winners and some classics. I started with the two or three which survived the many years of love and handling. Then I picked up a few more at Half Price Bookstore. Now, I’m raiding my grandchildren’s shelves. My collection is growing and I love how this is turning out. Can’t wait to pick up and frame more favorite friends.


Having picture book covers on my wall is inspirational for me as a writer as well. I can imagine what my own words will look like to an illustrator, and how readers will be drawn to my stories. I can’t wait for the surprises that an illustrator will bring to my stories. And more than anything, I can’t wait for a child to identify my book by its cover!

6 Responses to “Picture Book Art”

  1. writersideup June 24, 2015 at 9:23 PM #

    I LOVE your wall, Juliana! I recognize all but a couple πŸ™‚ I love the idea of decorating with picture books. I don’t have a wall/room for it, but I hope to some day. There’s just nothing like it πŸ™‚


    • Juliana Lee June 25, 2015 at 8:12 AM #

      Thanks! I was inspired by great book jackets and an empty wallet! Now, that I’ve started this I’m on a mission to collect more artwork this way. πŸ™‚


  2. Lauri Fortino May 14, 2015 at 9:11 PM #

    Love this idea! And I love picture book art! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Juliana Lee May 14, 2015 at 9:27 PM #

      Thanks Lauri. I’ve got a few more waiting for more dollar store frames. (I’m not a big spender!) πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Patricia Tilton May 14, 2015 at 8:24 PM #

    You are so creative. Never thought about doing anything like that. Love your collection!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Juliana Lee May 14, 2015 at 8:26 PM #

      Thanks Pat. It’s something that just came to me awhile back and I just had to do. Glad you like it.


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