The importance of illustrations in picture books was never more apparent to me than when I sat down and wrote a little story for my daughters when they were 3 and 5. I was pretty proud of what I wrote and couldn’t wait to read it to them.

I gathered my girls around me on the sofa and proceeded to read a tale written just for them. You know what I got?

Yawns. A look that said can we go now? 

Here is my expert artistic rendering of their reaction to a picture-less picture book.


Years later, when that little story was made into an actual picture book by one of the best publishers around, reaction has been very different. The illustrations make the story come to life. Rob Dunlavey took an idea and made it even better.

And those little girls of mine are now teenagers and ready to help read the story to other little kids. If they yawn now, I’ll assume they were up all night texting with their friends. 🙂