Writing with Pictures : How to Write and Illustrate Children's Books, Paperback

Writing with Pictures : How to Write and Illustrate Children's Books Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


A step-by-step guide to creating children's books. The book covers aspects from the preliminary idea to publication, and describes how to tell a story visually, draw characters and develop settings.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272 pages, 10 colour and 600 b&w illustrations
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Illustration & commercial art
  • ISBN: 9780823059355



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

The book, to this author, is the thing. This is his guide to creating picture books, which he distinguishes from story books by the way their stories are told: story books mainly by words, and picture books mainly by pictures. Shulevitz dissects tools used in his own books and in the books of authors he admires, including Beatrix Potter, Maurice Sendak, and Eric Carle.

Review by

This is essentially a master class in the theory and art of writing children's picture books told in four parts. Part I (Telling the Story) explains the building blocks of picture sequence, completing an action, story content ("every story is about change"), and key picture book characteristics. Part II (Planning the Book) covers the storyboard and book dummy; size, scale and shape; and the structure of a printed book. Part III (Creating the Pictures) is the "how to" part of the illustrating for children, discussing the purpose of illustration (readability, content and form); drawing figures and objects; use of visual references; picture space and composition; technique; and style. Part IV (Preparing for Reproduction) is the only outdated part of the book (originally released in 1985), as it teaches how to prepare art for pre-digital color-separation technology. This is the part of the book that made me grateful for working in this era. Not only did picture book artists have to master all of the storytelling and basic art skills, but they also had to learn how to preseparate their art. Throughout the book, Mr. Shulevitz uses his own and other illustrators' and artists' work to explain the lessons.

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