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The Importance of Illustrations in Kid’s Story Books

The Role and Importance of Illustrations in Children’s Story Books

It has become apparent to me, recently, that I’ve never talked about illustrations before, in this blog. I’ve a couple of articles on the importance of reading. I’ve some very successful blog posts about children’s books in the public domain too. But kid’s illustrated story books is what I do and plan on continue doing, even in the YA stage of Maven and Perry. I figured it would be a good idea to talk about the importance of illustrations in stories, particularly for children.

Kid's illustrated story books. An illustration from The Blue Giant.
One of my favourite illustrations from The Blue Giant.

Illustrations have one basic purpose, and everybody understands it. It helps children follow the story when they are unable to read the words. Kid’s illustrated story books are the most basic form of movie, if you will.

It's Like TV In Your Head GIF - ICarly JennetterMcCurdy SamPuckett ...
Books are, indeed, amazing!

Kid’s Illustrated Story Books are Important for Child Development.

There is more to it than basic storytelling. It is not just for the sake of selling that some books are about shapes, or colours, or both.

Illustrations help children relate words with shapes. If the page says ‘A green ball’, the picture will show, indeed, a green ball. It will be the first step to teach your toddler what a green sphere looks like.

Kid’s illustrated story books also teach children to associate images with actions. In more advanced picture books, the text will indicate what the characters are doing, and the images will reflect the same. This also helps relate feelings with what they look like.

From the kid's illustrated story books Maven and Perry, The Blue Giant
The Blue Giant was very angry at this stage.

Illustrations also help hold children’s attention. Hearing words might not be enough to engage your children’s imagination. Some people don’t actually have a visual imagination, their minds are blind. It’s congenital aphantasia and you can read about it here. If this is your kid’s case, even as they grow older, kid’s illustrated story books are a great idea. And, obviously, manga, comic books and graphic novels are a great option in this case. There is a large selection of well known works adapted into graphic novels. You can find some in Amazon.

Additional Message

Through images, kid’s illustrated story books can also convey a message through the illustrations without having to explain it with words. That’s why, now, you can find wordless picture books that help children with subjects such as anxiety or even grief (see some titles here). The picture book Pink is for Boys talks about how all colours are for everybody, but the artists depicts characters that come from diverse backgrounds in their races, body shapes, even socio-economical status. There is a message, there, that transcends the meaning of the words in the pages. It is, probably, an even better way to promote inclusivity, by making it the norm, and not something that needs to be pointed at.

Finally, illustrations make everything more fun. From the colour, to the ability to visualize exactly what the characters look, to facial expressions and even some funny bits, illustrations make everything better. That’s why, after all, we like movies.

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