Sue Todd, my instructor for LIS 6510: Survey and Analysis of Current Literature for Children Preschool – Grade 3, posed the following questions: Do illustrators receive the credit they deserve?  How can librarians and teachers educate patrons and students about illustrators?

My Stance:

Beatrix Potter

For picture books and books targeted at young children, the current shelving practices in public libraries, school media centers, and even bookstores focus on the author’s surname thus not drawing any attention to the illustrator. If a parent wanted to browse books by a specific illustrator, then he/she would need to utilize the library’s OPAC or the search feature via an online bookstore (and be aware of the illustrator’s name for refined results). As a result of this practice, illustrators are not given the credit or recognition that they deserve. In fact, I would be surprised if the average adult on the sidewalk in front of an elementary school could name 3 illustrators. (Without cheating, off the top of your head can you name three illustrators of children’s books?)

Many libraries make an effort to feature Caldecott books via displays, lists, and even special spine labels; however, in reality they are only “advertising” a very small thumbnail of the entire picture book collection. In addition to the efforts for raising awareness of the beloved Caldecott books, appropriate displays should be set-up that feature other attention-worthy illustrators. For ease of access, attractive bibliographies and online pathfinders featuring illustrators with subject listings can be developed for parents and teachers. Bookmarks available at the circulation and reference desks can also help raise awareness of illustrators and their extraordinary work.

A few of my favorite illustrators:
Mary GrandPré

And a new one in which I just stumbled upon this week:
Giselle Potter