As an artist, I may be a bit biased, but for me, the art is the thing.
Illustrations are more than just pictures attached to words. Ask anyone what they remember about the stories they read (as well as those that were read to them) as children and they will recall the pictures.
They will remember the faces, the colors; they will remember the fantastic elements that make the stories leap out and grab you. People will remember not only the big elements in the pictures, but also the quiet moments. Remember the way the moon shone through the trees as Max and the monsters danced in Where the Wild Things Are? Remember the texture of the cut paper in all those collages in The Hungry Caterpillar?
When you think about your favorite children's book, you don't just think about the passages you loved or the names of the characters, you think about the pictures. I know I always do.
I think you do, too.
Legwork Team Publishing