If you’ve picked up some old children’s books to share with your grandchildren, you would have noticed how different the illustrations are.

I’ve provided some examples on this page, but there are literally thousands to choose from.

Without going into an in depth discussion about the advances in printing and technology, suffice to say illustrations are much more sophisticated than they used to be.

Children’s book illustrations and remarkable changes in technology
Black Beauty

Is newer better?

Many illustrations are computer generated images. This means at no point did pen touch paper in their creation.

Artists and designers can create images using a wide range of software and creative devices.

This doesn’t make them better, only different from the ones we were used to growing up.

They are sharper, more colorful, and certainly more vibrant today.

Older illustrations were only created using black ink, and may seem drab and even boring to young readers.

Children’s book illustrations and remarkable changes in technology
Treasure Island

Use illustrations to begin a discussion about books

While some children may be reluctant to read books, most children like to look at images.

If you find your grandchild doesn’t want to read a lot use the illustrations to pique their interest about the contents of the book.

Astro's Adventures Book Club
Dogs in Space

Use the following questions to get started:

  1. What colors has the artist used?
  2. Make a list of things you can see in the illustration
  3. Why do you think the artist chose to draw the characters or subject this way?
  4. What can you feel when you look at the illustration?
  5. What doesn’t it tell you about the story?
Children’s book illustrations and remarkable changes in technology
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