4 Children’s Books Illustration Style Types to Improve Reading Quality

Should you go for children’s books illustration or keep the books limited to text only?

Children visualize the world faster than us, grown-ups, when it comes to books and reading. And one of the major reasons is that they can picture the stories in their heads unlike we do on a slower pace.

They don’t like plain text-based books!

They need illustrations to find connection between the books and their imaginative world. So, if you’re thinking to incorporate some graphics into your children’s book, you’re on the right track to be their favorite author.

Come, let’s find out how children’s books illustration help them grasp more knowledge, what type of illustration styles are there, and how to design one.

What is Children’s Books Illustration?

First let’s understand what these children’s books illustration are before we discuss the style types that you can consider for your next book.

The book illustrations are the graphical representation of the story or text of the book. This graphical representation makes the understanding of the story/concept easier for the reader while keeping their interest in the book through the imagery alongside the text.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Green Eggs and Ham, and Matilda are some of the famous examples of how authors incorporate illustrations in their children’s books to make them more engaging.

Children Books Illustration Style Types

One of the reasons that authors opt for children’s books illustration is the captivating reading experience that keeps the reader hooked to the book from start to end. There are a few popular children’s books illustration styles that illustrators find convenient in terms of designing and offering the reader a connection with the book. Let’s discuss all these illustration styles, below:

Realistic Illustrations

First in our list of children’s books illustration styles is the realistic illustration type that aims to keep the graphics close to real images. In this illustration style, the images hold resemblance to real world images in terms of graphic details and character proportion.

This type of children’s books illustration is helpful if your books are educational aimed at introducing children with other species such as animals, birds. It is also a preferable book illustration style when you want to explain kids about different concept like nature, urban/rural atmosphere, or historical stories.


Cartoon illustration is another popular children’s books illustration style that illustrators recommend for adding a fun element in their reading experience. The cartoon illustration is basically an exaggerated form of graphics that amplify children’s imagination capacity since they can relate with cartoons more easily than real world images.

This form of illustration is ideal if your aim is to increase storytelling’s quality in your children’s book and keep them hooked to your stories.

Comical Illustrations

Almost similar to cartoon illustrations, the comical illustrations are one of the famous children’s books illustration styles that are often used. This illustration style includes a comical character to narrate the story to its young readers transporting them into a captivating and magical world.

One example of comical children’s books illustration style is J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series that hooked us for years throughout our childhood (and even today for some). The comical illustration style is ideal if you want your readers to enhance their creative abilities to imagine a character while reading your stories.


Some illustrators prefer using sketches in children’s books illustration style since they offer an expressive and spontaneous quality to book’s look and feel. These sketches appear to be unfinished graphics made with graphite and offer the reader a unique reading experience with their raw appeal.

Sketches are a good option if your children’s book involves informal or humoristic stories. Plus, they can be a great way to demonstrate your playful writing style.

How to Illustrate Children’s Books?

Illustrating children’s book is a rewarding gig in itself since you’re unleashing your creativity and exploring different ways to explain the stories through graphics. If you’re opting to design children’s books illustration yourself instead of hiring an illustrator, here are the steps you’ll be following for designing an engaging book illustration:

  • The first step, for designing children’s books illustration, you’ll need to conduct your research going through different books. The aim is to understand how other illustrators have used colors, characters and overall feel of the illustrations and how you can incorporate it in your book.
  • Then, you’ll select an illustration style (from the ones we explained above) and mediums such as watercolor, acrylic, collage, or multimedia for designing your children’s books illustration.
  • You need to decide and lock a central character for your children’s books illustration and keep perfecting it in different scenarios. The idea is to keep that character’s design consistent in every chapter, every page for offering your readers an opportunity to connect with it.
  • For keeping your children’s books illustration project easy and attainable, you must work with storyboards. This will allow you to visualize every situation where you can put your main character and keep the element of prominence for it.
  • Lastly, you must show your work for positive feedback to find out the areas of improvements into your children’s books illustration project.

So, this was all that you need to know about children’s books illustration or how to design one DIY-ing!

If you’re still contemplating whether to hire an illustrator or design the whole illustration yourself then consider these points:

  • If you’re concerned about your book’s overall quality, go with the illustrator.
  • If you’re on a limited budget and know how to design book illustrations, you can opt for DIY-ing.

Feel free to contact our expert book illustrators if you have children’s books illustration project at hand and no idea how to design one.