Picture Book V/S Illustrated Children’s Books: Understanding the Differences and Challenges

Picture Book V/S Illustrated Children’s Books: Understanding the Differences and Challenges

Picture books and illustrated books for children – are they different? Yes, there is a hell and heaven difference between the two, and if you are stepping into the world of children book illustration, then one should be aware of these distinctions. The styles are different and so are the challenges. The preparation process and execution are different, and definitely, the target group is also radically different. So, what are these differences, and what are the two sets of challenges that they bring with them? 

Let’s find out!

The difference between the two

The basic difference between the two is that a picture book may or may not contain text, whereas an illustrated book will always contain text and pictures both. For a picture book, the Picture book illustrations are the star attraction. They define the book, and they are the main content. However, it is slightly different for illustrated books. For an illustrated book, the illustration is there only as a support to the main text. These illustrations help in understanding the text better and clearing the concept of the content. Thus, they are accompaniments. 

There is a difference in the TG as well. While for both types of groups, the target is children, but their age group is different. When it comes to a picture book, the age group is somewhere between 3-8 years of age. For example, when a child is three years of age, their attention span is quite low. They will quickly get distracted, and hence, you will have to keep them occupied for a longer period. And to do just that, you will need to find pictures and illustrations which are colorful and attractive and perhaps, they will have the attention of the child for a longer time. 

Thus, picture book illustrations are always brighter and eye-catchy. When it comes to illustrations for children’s books, they need not be so flashy or eye-catchy. The illustrations explain the text better, and one needs to keep that in mind when illustrating the same.

The difference in challenges

As an illustrator, when it comes to Picture book illustrations styles, you will have to keep the pictures more self-explanatory. They need to be robust and colorful and narrate their own story. It is like writing a picture story when it comes to picture book illustrations. But, when it comes to illustration for children’s books, you will have to illustrate according to the theme and style of the text content. 

In picture books, the illustrations should be text-based. Thus, preparing yourself for the two will be different. The style of illustration that you will use will also be very different. But for both types of books, you will have to be sure of one common factor – the children ought to love it. 

They are not the same and it is essential that you keep the differences in mind!


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