Guides for Critiquing Picture Book Illustrations

The Utah/So.Idaho SCBWI is getting ready for our Great Critique on August 24th. Here is some information to help you critique picture book illustrations:

sketch book

sketch book

Critiquing picture book illustrations by Sherry Meidell

• What is your first impression of the art?

• How is their use of line and color?

• Are the faces and characters consistent throughout the book dummy?

• Do the illustrations show place? (where the characters dwell)

• Do the characters show emotion through face expressions and body language?

• Do the illustrations show a variety of vantage points?

• How is the composition? (Is the page designed nicely?) (Is an important part of the illustration hidden by the gutter?) (Is there a surprise with each page turn?)

• Do the illustrations create a mood?

• How is the pacing of the book? Is suspense created by the page turns? Do the book illustrations move from left to right unless there is a wanted impact?

• Does the illustrator have a distinctive voice? and style?

• Is it an original story? or an old story told in a new and original way?

• Do the illustrations add to and tell an additional story which grows from the words?

• Do the illustrations stray from any details that are described in the words?

• Are there words that can be cut out of the text because they are shown better in the illustrations?

•Do the pictures and story tug at some deep human emotion?



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