13. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
A West African folk tale, this bold and bright book tells the charming story of a mosquito who tries to woo the most beautiful ear. First published in 1976, the children's picture book was illustrated by husband and wife Leo and Diane Dillon.
The vibrant images not only won the hearts of kids but adults too – it won the prestigious Caldecott Medal, which recognises the most distinguished picture book for children, the year it was published.
14. Lon Po Po
Lon Po Po: A Red Riding Hood Story from China is a folktale set in the misty mountains where a small panda learns about the dangers of life and the strong bond between parent and child.
The powerful narrative is backed up by equally strong illustrations by the book's author Ed Young. The artist has provided the drawings for over 80 children's books, 17 of which he has also written. This exceptional book won Young the Caldecott Medal in 1990.
15. The Great Paper Caper
Best-selling, multi-award-winning talent, Oliver Jeffers both wrote and illustrated this tale of mystery. Animals' homes are disappearing and trees are being cut down. Can the discarded paper aeroplanes littering the forest floor explain why?
This delightful children's picture book is full of Jeffers’ quirky illustrations. His clever drawings enable kids to identify with his characters as well as capturing the wider message.
There's no denying the talent of illustrator Graeme Base based on his drawings for this alphabet picture book with a twist. Published in 1986, each of the 26 letters is accompanied by a detailed illustration of a different animal.
The illustrations also feature other objects beginning with that letter, for the reader to hunt for. And if that's not enough, Base also included a image of himself as a child on every page. Animalia was awarded the title of Honour Book in the Council of Australia's Children's Book of the Year Award: Picture Book.
17. Snow White and the Fox
Black and white, with just a tiny hint of colour, this detailed illustration was drawn by artist Niroot Puttapipat for a book on Russian myths.
Puttapipat comments on his Deviant Art portfolio: "This tale is one of the rarer instances in which a fox plays a benevolent role, rather than an antagonistic one. The 'Snow White' of this tale bears no relation to the more famous one of the poisoned apple from the Brothers Grimm." Puttapipat used ink and gouache on hot pressed watercolour paper to create the scene.
18. A Happy Pair
This rather beautiful pair of bunnies were illustrated by none other than Beatrix Potter. As well as being a gifted writer, Potter was an incredibly talented artist, who spent much of her life drawing intricate sketches of the natural world.
Potter's illustrations were first published in this booklet A Happy Pair by Frederick Weatherly in the early 1890s. As well as appearing on the cover, a further five chromolithographed illustrations were also featured inside the publication.
19. ll Était Une Fois (Once Upon A Time)
This gorgeous pop-up book was illustrated by talented French artist Benjamin Lacombe. Featuring eight classic fairy tales – Alice In Wonderland, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, Bluebeard, Peter Pan, Little Red Riding Hood, Madame Butterfly and Thumbelina – the images mix 3D illustration and painting.
It was no surprise to discover that Lacombe attended the prestigious French art school École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs (ENSAD). Since graduating, he has written and illustrated numerous books.
20. The Ship That Sailed to Mars
This fantasy tale was authored and illustrated by artist William M. Timlin. The book started as a diversion to amuse his son in 1921 but the project grew into a masterpiece that took Timlin two years to complete.
The Ship that Sailed to Mars consists of 48 pages of beautifully calligraphed text in three colours, accompanied by delightful pencil drawings depicting various scenes from the story.
21. House Held up by Trees
The simple but beautiful illustration style of Jon Klassen features on the pages of this Ted Kooser book House Held up by Trees. An illustrator, designer and concept artist, Klassen has worked on a number of high-profile film and animation projects, including a music video for U2 and Henry Selick’s Coraline.
The first picture book Klassen illustrated, Cats’ Night Out by Caroline Stutson, won the Governor General's Award for illustration in his native Canada.
As David Weisner reveals in the opening of this picture book, Floatsam is something that floats; and if it floats in the ocean, it may end up washed ashore for someone to find. This simple idea forms the basis of the story, but it's the detailed, vibrant illustrations that really bring this charming tale to life.
Wesiner's works have won numerous awards – and the prestigious Caldecott Medal was awarded to Tuesday in 1992, The Three Pigs in 2002, and Flotsam in 2007. He is only the second person in the award's history to have won three times.
23. Tarka the Otter
Internationally renowned naturalistic painter of British birds and other wildlife Charles F Tunnicliffe is the man behind the intricate illustrations in this classic tale, which follows the life of an otter and its adventures in the wild.
In the 1930s, Tunnicliffe created some stunning wood engravings. These were used to illustrate many of Henry Williamson's books, including Tarka the Otter.
This is an updated and expanded version of an article previously published on Creative Bloq.