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Beautifully-Designed Children’s Books

By Isabel Kallman

Yes, March is National Reading Month. And, the rest of the month we’ll highlight our favorite books and reading activities.

Last week, we presented our favorite board books for babies. Today, it’s beautifully-designed books for kids. These are ones where the illustrations take our breath away. They also all happen to sit on my son’s bookshelf.

We are sure there are other beautiful ones out there and we are dying to hear about them. So please do tell. Share, share, that’s fair.



Artist Suzy Lee released the wordless masterpiece Wave last year. We love, love, love this book. The end.

Hansel & Gretel


Beloved artist Jen Corace is the illustrator behind this edition of Hansel and Gretel. It’s absolutely gorgeous.



This charmingly-illustrated pop-up book is produced by renowned painter Seonna Hong who also won an Emmy as an animation artist for the Powerpuff Girls.

When You Were Small


We recommended When You Were Small as a Father’s Day gift last year for its sweet father-son storyline and lovely illustrations. Luckily for us, illustrator Julie Morstad and author Sarah O’Leary have a new book out Where You Came From. Can’t wait to get my hands on it. (Adding to shopping cart right now).

Gyo Fujikawa’s Children’s Books


Any of Gyo Fujikawa’s books would be eye candy for your children’s library. Fujikawa was a prolific writer and illustrator and according to Wikipedia is recognized for being the earliest mainstream illustrator of picture books to include children of many races in her work. I remember spending hours upon hours as a child looking through her Mother Goose book. I loved them so much then and maybe even more now.

Pippi Longstocking


I could not think of a better illustrator than Lauren Child (of Charlie & Lola fame) for the Pippi Longstocking tale. Ms. Child’s artwork is the perfect accompaniment for the story of this zany independent girl.

The Snowy Day


The Snowy Day
is also on our list for Best Board Book for Babies. We list it here for its gorgeous use of color and collage. It’s a lovely story about a young boy playing outside after a snowstorm. Published in 1962 it was one of the most controversial books of the 1960s, which is hard to believe given its very simple storyline. It went on to earn a Caldecott Medal.

Now it’s your turn. Which are your favorite illustrated and/or designed children’s books?

Published March 17, 2009. Last updated August 30, 2017.
Isabel Kallman
About the Author

Isabel Kallman

Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.


Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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