Celebrating Beautifully Illustrated Children’s Books
The number of books arriving on my desk every year is large, and it may be no great surprise to know that I see many attractively illustrated children’s books. I wish we could review them all, but alas the amount of space in our journal is limited. Ever since the publication of our first issue, I have been wondering what it would be like to be a child today with scores upon scores of beautifully designed and illustrated books available for enjoyment and acquisition at public libraries, bookstores, and online retailers. Of course, I had access to beautifully illustrated books when I was a child, just not nearly as many. It’s this bounty of riches in high quality book illustration that could signify that we are witnessing another golden age of children’s book illustration.
Many scholars, critics, and avid readers will point to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as the first “golden age” of children’s book illustration largely because this is when so many imaginative and attractive books were published, many of which are now regarded as classics. Delightful pictures alone do not make a book exceptional, they must complement an excellent story and innovative design. But as you read the reviews in this issue and future issues it may be worthwhile to notice how many times our reviewers comment upon the fresh and innovative illustrations, and then ask yourself if we are indeed witnessing a new golden age in children’s book illustration.
Enjoy our new issue!