Visual Delights – Book Illustrations

A picture book with excellent illustrations is a true delight! Many people think picture books are for children, but the best picture books speak to readers of all ages. Here are a few of my recent favorites, plus some fun activities you can try at home to build on your reading experience.

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales book cover

Dreamers stole my heart with its personal story and beautiful illustrations. Mixed media includes embroidery collages that incorporate childhood drawings, acrylic painting and digital art. The illustrations reflect Morales’s message of resplendent hope that rings true for readers facing uncertainty.

Activity Ideas

  • Try out embroidery. All you need is fabric, a needle and thread. Check out this basic guide to get started. If you don’t have an embroidery hoop on hand, you can make one out of a takeout container!
  • Draw a picture that is a tribute to your favorite books.
  • Create and bind your own short book. It can be autobiographical like Dreamers or you can make up a story. You can find a variety of bookbinding tutorials using Creativebug free with your library card.

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell

We Are Grateful by Traci Sorell book cover

The gouache paintings in this book speak to the emotions – joy, reverence, grief, love and of course, gratitude – of the Cherokee people featured in the story. You will also learn about the Cherokee Syllabary, stickball, Green Corn Ceremony and other cultural hallmarks.

Activity Ideas

  • Create a four seasons tree craft after the style of the illustration on the first page of We Are Grateful. Use whatever craft materials you have on hand, plus your imagination.
  • Create a gratitude journal. Draw, paint or write about both special and mundane things that you are thankful for.
  • Learn more Cherokee with Mango Language Learning.
More Recommended Picture Books:

View complete list

What are some truly special picture books you’ve read recently? Tell us in the comments.

Natalie Moreland

Natalie is a Kids Librarian with a background in teaching. She delights in spreading bookjoy to people of all ages. She also takes interest in cycling, creating art, social justice, raising small livestock, and making music.