Thematic Reading List: Illustrators Who Also Author Books
Authors and illustrators are creative people. But what do you get when an illustrator decides to author and illustrate his/her own book? Pure magic! We all know the long list of classic author/illustrators- Dr. Seuss, Jan Brett, Ezra Jack Keats, Eric Carle, Donald Crews, Rosemary Wells- just to name a few. They have produced classics that children still love today. In the last 15 years we have seen some of our favorite illustrators add the writing pen to their stash of drawing utensils. Here are just 11 of the many author/illustrators that grace the picture book shelves of libraries, classrooms, bookstores, and homes.
By: Thyra Heder
Nia loves Alfie, her pet turtle. But he’s not very soft, he doesn’t do tricks, and he’s pretty quiet. Sometimes she forgets he’s even there! That is until the night before Nia’s seventh birtday, when Alfie disappears! Then, in an innovative switch in point of view, we hear Alfie’s side of the story. He didn’t leave Nia—he’s actually searching for the perfect birthday present for his dear friend. Can he find a gift and make it back in time for the big birthday party?
|The Blue Hour
By: Isabelle Simler
Animals, birds, and even flowers of blue hues color their landscapes, from the Arctic to the jungle, as they enjoy a moment of peace in the hour between day and night.
|Get Out of My Bath!
By: Britta Teckentrup
Ellie the elephant’s relaxing bath is disrupted by splashing friends, prompting her to suck up all of the water into her trunk until everyone else leaves.
|Growing Up Pedro: how the Martinez brothers made it from the Dominican Republic all the way to the Major Leagues
By: Matt Tavares
Author/illustrator Tavares traces the champion Red Sox pitcher’s improbable rise from a baseball-loving youth in the Dominican Republic to a World Series star, describing how his enduring bond with his older brother shaped his athletic dreams.
By: Sophie Blackall
This book explores the life of one lighthouse as it beams its message out to sea through shifting seasons, changeable weather, and the tenure of its final keeper.
|I Want My Hat Back
By: Jon Klassen
A bear almost gives up his search for his missing hat until he remembers something important.
By: Brian Floca
The story of the red-hulled Ambrose Light. Within the story, readers learn that lightships once served where lighthouses could not be built. They helped to guide sailors safely through the fog.
|Little Dreamers: visionary women around the world
By: Vashti Harrison
Author/illustrator Harrison provides brief illustrated bios of women creators around the world.
|Radiant Child: the story of young artist Jean-Michel Basquiat
By: Javaka Steptoe
Jean-Michel Basquiat grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he was surrounded by riches of language, culture, and art. From his earliest years, Jean-Michel knew that he wanted to be an artist. His mother encouraged his interest and took him to museums and galleries. Sadly, due to mental health issues, she had to leave the family when Jean-Michel was in his teens, and she left him without her encouragement and support. But Jean-Michel never stopped drawing and painting, and he struck out on his own when he was a teen. Soon, his street culture-inspired art was noticed. He had his first public exhibition in Times Square in 1980, when he was only twenty years old. His first solo show took place in Italy in 1981, and his paintings began to sell.
| This Is It
By: Daria Peoples-Riley
A young dancer finds confidence in herself in this picture book about dance, individuality, and self-expression.
| Wolf in the Snow
By: Matthew Cordell
When a wolf cub and little girl get lost in a snowstorm, they must find their way home.