Books, Current Events

10 Amazing Women Authors (and Illustrators) of Children’s Books

So I started working on many lists and decided not to use them today halfway through (well, halfway through for those lists was already nearing 15+!) and I decided to further narrow my focus on women authors of children’s books who also illustrate, and also decided to stick to those who are writing/illustrating now! And these are ten of my favorite among the amazing women authors (and illustrators) of children’s books that I know for this week’s theme of bookish people we would love to meet over at ThatArtstyReaderGirl (for Top Ten Tuesday)

Given that I would love to meet all the writers, poets, illustrators, bloggers, and all bookish people that I have gotten to know and appreciate through their writings, I started with a list of all the wonderful book-bloggers I would love to meet and I realized the list was never-ending! Then I decided to give it a rest and moved on to authors in general, then women authors, and finally, ended up with this list of

10 Amazing Women Authors (and Illustrators) of Children’s Books

This list of authors who also illustrate (sometimes their own books and at other times, for other authors) is in no particular order. In some cases, I have only read the one book or seen their illustrations in one or more books and been curious about their work for their talent awed me in one way or the other.

For each and every one of them, I know that I would love to meet them so I can let them know how much I admire their talent(s); and then maybe pick their brains just a bit! It would be wonderful to find out more about their creative process, about their favorite books and authors, and well, just get to know them.

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Oge Mora

I have read and love Oge Mora’s Thank You, Omu! which was her debut picture book and won many awards. She has also illustrated for others, including this briliant inspiring read The Oldest Student.

My reviews for those books linked below:

Supriya Kelkar

I mentioned Kelkar in my recent post about Indian-American authors you need to read; and I also mentioned that she is an illustrator. Her use of vibrant colors and traditional motifs adds to the stories she has illustrated – like with My Diwali Light. I enjoyed her lyrical Brown is Beautiful.

Currently, I am engrossed in reading Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame (a middle-grade novel set in pre-independence India (circa 1857). This made me realize that while I love historical fiction, I haven’t read too many set around this time in India.

Vashti Harrison

So I have read so quite a few books either written or illustrated by Harrison but failed to review them on my blog. For example, the heartwarming read with stunningly emotive art – Hair Love (Harrison is the illustrator here)! And then there is her Little Leaders series, of which I have read one. While there are more, there is one other stunning read illustrated by her and written by Lupita Nyong’o that I recently added to my cart and waiting for it. I am talking about Sulwe.

Emily Winfield Martin

So I have only read one book by Emily Winfield Martin, but it is one that captured my heart and stays so fresh in my memory even after so long. Her The Wonderful Things You Will Be is the perfect gift for new parents (and well, even those with older kids). Given, she has so many more books I am yet to explore, I will be slowly finishing them up this year (the ones she has written (and illustrated too) so far).

Grace Lin

Grace Lin is truly talented with the pen, both when words and drawings flow out of it! I love her art – whether it is in her own A Big Mooncake for Little Star, or books by other authors, including Kathy Tucker’s The Seven Chinese Sisters. I have also enjoyed Where the Mountain meets the Moon and hope to read the other related books soon.

I have mini-reviews/mentions of some of those books in this post.

Yuyi Morales

I first read Morales’ Dreamers, then it was Bright Star (my review here) and soon after, saw her art once again, this time in the sweet read Thunder Boy! Her talent as an emotive writer who speaks to our hearts and an artist whose vibrant illustrations reach out to the readers shines through in every book I have read so far.

Manjula Padmanabhan

Of all the women on this list, Manjula Padmanabhan was my first discovery, from back when I was a little girl and enjoying the popular children’s magazine in India at that time called Target. And there it was, a beautiful story accompanied by a stunningly unique black and white ink illustration of a girl (that picture is still clear in my memory, like those flashbacks they show in movies!) – and the artist and writer – Padmanabhan. I recently saw some mention of her and then discovered more books by her (for young and old), and I hope to get to them soon.

Sophie Blackall

I only recently read one of Sophie Blackall’s books – Farmhouse – but I realized I had discovered and fallen in love with her art ages ago when I first read the adorable Ruby’s Wish by Shirin Lim. I also have read a few other books with art by Blackall (Ivy and Bean series for one) and each one is stunning! And now, there is a whole treasure house of books written and/or illustrated by her that I need to enjoy – soon!

My review of the books:

Corinna Luyken

I only read one of Corinna Luyken’s books earlier this year, and went OMG as I did! The book – it filled My Heart – literally!! Now I am going to look for the rest and read them as well.

Maja Kastelic

Maja Kastelic’s wordless book A Boy and A House imprinted itself into my memory; and that shows how powerful pictures can be proving that oft-heard phrase that a picture is worth a thousand words (which is what I say in my review of this book). Her art in this delightful picture book biography of Hans Christian Andersen brings him to life so beautifully!

And an addendum: someone I discovered on International Women’s Day, 2023!

Kate Pankhurst

I just read Pankhurst’s Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World, and now am already scrambling to look for the rest of her books (both fiction and non-fiction). Her art is so endearing and full of color and energy, while her narrative appeals and informs!

(and I am yet to find a pic of her I can use, hence the book cover here)

The Why I Want to Meet Them, Once Again

If you might have observed that I did not mention why I want to meet each of these author-illustrators in their individual intros. That is simply because the reason is pretty much the same. I might end up doing a copy paste, so instead I am restating the reason I mentioned earlier.

For each and every one of them, I know that I would love to meet them so I can let them know how much I admire their talent(s); and then maybe pick their brains just a bit! It would be wonderful to find out more about their creative process, about their favorite books and authors, and well, just get to know them.

And yes, I would love to discuss their own books with them, as well as other books we might have read in common (wouldn’t it be delightful to discover if some of our favorite people whom we never met before end up having many of our likes and dislikes, and or maybe just have the same favorite something, even if it is a pet peeve!!)

Related Reads About Women Authors & Illustrators (& More)

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, which of these women authors are among your favorites (or are authors/illustrators you would love to meet)? Which bookish people (authors/characters/influencers/etcs) would you like to meet the most?

woman writing on a book in her lap ;
pin title says 10 Amazing Women Authors (and Illustrators) of Children's Books

8 thoughts on “10 Amazing Women Authors (and Illustrators) of Children’s Books

  1. Saving it and making a list to buy. My daughter is slowly moving toward the book age, I can’t wait to show her wonderful books and educate her with it on her own limitless potential

  2. This is a great idea for a top ten list! I followed some of the links and The Wonderful Things You Will Be and A Boy and a House look wonderful, the illustrations look beautiful.

    1. Many of these authors do write on both issues – feminism and diversity.. I do know I have read a few who have a higher focus on these topics but can’t recall off the top of my head. I will give it a thought and hope my memory cooperates! I will let you know then..

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