Six Things Children’s Book Illustrations Need

Diana Zipeto 6 Things Children’s Books Illustrators Need


By Diana Zipeto

People unrelated to illustration have words of wisdom that can apply to illustration. In his TED talk, Why We Do What We Do, motivational guru Tony Robbins has a list of Six Things Every Human Needs. I have taken them and adapted them here to be Six Things Every Children’s Book Illustration Needs, because I am pretty sure they relate!

A girl is launching a handmade sailboat onto a small water stream that is entering a large stream.

1. Certainty

Tony Robbins says the first human need is to have certainty. Some things are known, reliable, unchanging. We need that.

Every illustration needs to have some certainty, too: something that is clear and easy to read. You and a child need to know at a glance what is happening in an image, that something happened before and that something will happen after. You can give visual cues to the viewer to help convey that information. In the case of this image, it is (hopefully)…

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About Prairie Garden Girl

I am a wife who is adored by my Sweet Perry. Together we are parents to five boys and grandparents to seven unique grands. Pa Perry and Oma Sue love instilling the love of learning in the hearts of Johannah, Joshua & Jaxon; Henry & Charlotte and Lily & Lane. I am a reader. I am an aspiring children's picture book writer. I am a creator who sews and paints with acrylics and watercolors and sketches with colored pencil. I am an educator to hundreds of students, throughout the years. I am a cyclist on a pink Marin Portofina, and a 5K jogger. Perry and I are organic gardeners and enjoy homesteading on the Illinois prairie. Life is a beautiful ride with my Sweet P. Together, Perry and I feel life is a journey filled with joy. We want to live our lives by leaving the world a better place.
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4 Responses to Six Things Children’s Book Illustrations Need

  1. Thanks for the reblog!


    • My pleasure, Marianne. The six points made: certainty, uncertainty, to feel unique and special, connection/love, growth and contribute are such outstanding points to remember. My preschoolers enjoyed listening to the story Grumpy Cat.


  2. SevenAcreSky says:

    Great repost Prairie Girl…loved this wisdom. As I attempt to expand my writing to illustration these are pretty fundamental essentials to remember. Thanks!


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