A scenic illustration by Betty Schweitzer-Johnson taken from “Cloud Watchers”, written by Ethel K Coffey
Beautiful illustrations bring clarity and depth to words in a story. The presence of colorful illustrations is crucial in children’s literature. In fact, Illustrations are used as an introduction for children, into the world of books. The more vibrant and colorful the illustration, the more it can attract the interest of children and help them relate to a story. Illustrations also help identify colors, shapes, animals, and other everyday objects.
Before they ever learn to read, children respond to images in order to make sense of the world around them. Visual imagery along with rich language experiences aid in a child’s development. As a child starts to learn how to read, the illustrations in a book help build reading comprehension. When a child is having difficulty understanding a story, illustrations can often assist the child in independently figuring out the meanings of unfamiliar words. And, illustrations make a lasting impression, which often helps a child to remember the content of a story.
The short attention span of a young child, as well as limited vocabulary and world knowledge, place special demands on illustrations. Distinct illustrations help clarify the development of plots and characters so that fewer words and less complex syntax can be used.
Illustrations enrich, reinforce and amplify a story. They capture the attention of young readers. Good illustrations bring a story to life and can motivate children to become lifelong readers.