20 Beautiful Children’s Book Cover Illustrations

We all have a special place in our hearts for children’s books. When we were young, they stirred our imagination and calmed us before we slept. Most of us can still remember many of the books from our childhood, and, if you’re like me, the front cover of most of them as well.

This is the difficulty of designing a book cover: the illustration needs to be a preview of the story and also appealing enough to entice readers to open the book. The style of the illustration, the colors, and the font all have to be carefully chosen and laid out. Illustrators of children’s books also have to keep in mind what designs will appeal to a young audience.

The following collection of up-and-coming children’s books showcases some of the best and newest book illustrations available. All are brilliantly designed with the audience and story in mind. Some are quite colorful, others are cute, and a few are elegant, but all are awesome regardless of the style.

So take a peek at what children could like, get inspired, and maybe visit the websites to see more about these new releases of children’s books.

Related: Beautiful & Creative Book Cover Design


This beautiful illustration is perfectly intriguing, with a girl alone trudging through the snowy woods with wolves in the distance. The glowing snowflakes add a magical air to the illustration.

Written by Anne Ursu. Illustrated by Erin McGuire.


Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales

The illustration style and the image itself appropriately match the title of this book and give insight as to just how clever the retelling of popular fairy tales may be.

Written and illustrated by Lucy Cousins.


Fairly Fairy Tales

The characters in this illustration are adorable enough that some may buy this book simply to see more cute illustrations inside. The disco ball and the love triangle between Goldilocks, Baby Bear, and Little Red Riding Hood really makes one wonder about the hilarities the book contains.

Written by Esme Raji Codell. Illustrated by Elisa Chavarri.

fairy fairy tales

The Secret Live of Princesses

Dautremer ingeniously illustrated an outward appearance of boredom and civility (the look on the character’s face is brilliant, and the butterflies are quite charming) combined with hidden secrets of passion (her hair is in the shape of a cage with one door hanging open and the monochromatic color scheme is passionate shades of red).

Written by Philippe lechermeier. Illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer.

secret live of princesses

Chicken Cheeks

This book clearly demonstrates the pun on the title, giving us a hint that this book is sure to be full of humor.

Written by Michael Ian Black. Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes.

chicken cheeks

A Million Miles from Boston

Who doesn’t love a good book about a kid and her dog? This beautiful illustration also hints at a bit of adventure amongst the serenity.

Written and illustrated by Karen Day.

million miles from boston

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes

This book with bold, primary colors is clearly meant for a young audience. The youthful illustration of a cat in white boots and the wobbly font adds to this style very well.

Written by Eric Litwin. Illustrated by James Dean.

pete the cat

Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas

Not only is this illustration beautiful, but it is clever as well. Did you notice the numbers on the bags of seeds?

Written by Cheryl Bardoe. Illustrated by Jas. A. Smith.

the friar who grew peas

Big Brothers Don’t Take Naps

The colors are light and uplifting and the illustration itself is very happy on this book cover, which gives us a strong hint that this book will be quite fun for young children to read.

Written by Louise Borden. Illustrated by Emma Dodd.

big brothers don't take naps


What a clever illustration! The dog in the center of this action shot makes us wonder if he is a main hero or just another sidekick. Yet, the title itself is “Sidekicks” so is the story about four sidekicks or a hero and three sidekicks? Anyway, it looks epic!

Written and illustrated by Dan Santat.


Bad Island

This abstract illustration uses dark colors, excellent shading, and just the right amount of the spoiler with the island in a shape of a head with eyes.

Written and illustrated by Doug Tennapel.

bad island

Three Hens and a Peacock

The looks on the faces of these chickens alone is enough to let us know that this story has to be humorous. The vivid colors are perfectly eye-catching, and the details of the feathers are beautiful.

Written by Lester Laminack. Illustrated by Henry Cole.

three hencocks a peacock

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

The classic style of illustration, complete with an oval-shaped image and Medieval font and banner, fits perfectly with the fairyland part of the title. The dragon in chains and girl holding a key behind her back gives us a good preview of the “in a ship of her own making” part of the title.

Written by Catherynne M. Valente. Illustrated by Ana Juan.

Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland

Mal and Chad: The Biggest, Bestest Time Ever!

This illustration of a “best of” comic strip collection stays in line with the style of this comic strip. The action-packed graphics, as well as the stunning faces of the characters, are very eye-catching.

Written and illustrated by Stephen McCranie.

mal and chad

Super Amoeba

The color scheme of this comic book cover perfectly matches the theme of this comic strip. The dripping graphic around the “No. 1” and the font with an amoeba for the “i” letter are extra brilliant touches.

Written and illustrated by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.


Dragonbreath: Lair of the Bat Monster

The cool blue color scheme and friendly face of the bat show just how little of a monster this bat will turn out to be.

Written and illustrated by Ursula Vernon.

dragon breath

Big Red Lollipop

An image of a shiny red lollipop nearly the size of a girl’s face is enough to make almost any kid want to open this book. The youthful font and cute girl add to the appeal of this book cover as well.

Written by Rukhsana Khan. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

big red lollipop

Don’t Touch That Toad & Other Strange Things Adults Tell You

“…Because a toad will give you warts” is the implication of this illustration. The font is fantastic on this book cover: the main words in red attract the eye and the narrowing of the text lines creates a downward flow, right to the image.

Written by Catherine Rondina. Illustrated by Kevin Sylvester.

dont touch that toad

The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery

Who knew that baby chicks could stare down a dog so cleverly? The looks on the faces of the dog and the chicks are so amazingly descriptive of their emotions that one could not help but pick up this book.

Written by Doreen Cronin. Illustrated by Kevin Cornell.

trouble with chickens

Tugg and Teeny: Book One

This illustration makes the characters of the book adorably endearing before readers can read a single word. The font is very cute as well.

Written by J. Patrick Lewis. Illustrated by Christopher Denise.

tuggs and teeny