Picture Book Art:                              Illustrators Who Hide Things                                      in Their ...
strange. He likes to put crazy images in his illustrations, but not really comment on them. In RottenTeeth (Simms) the mai...
Mayer, Mercer has a cricket/grasshopper/mouse/spider in the illustrations of his Little Critter books.McCluskey, Robert us...
Sleator, William. On a higher level, likes to give the weird creatures in his books the names of goodfriends.Spengler, Ken...
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Art illustrators who hide things


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List of Picture Books from the presentation of Carin Barwick at the 2012 KASL, KAECT & KSDE Conference.

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Art illustrators who hide things

  1. 1. Picture Book Art: Illustrators Who Hide Things in Their StoriesAhlberg, Janet. Her illustrations often feature her family, as well as her husbands, Allan Ahlberg.Peepo! Is based on his childhood memories of the war and their books about babies are based on theirdaughter Jessica. Ahlbergs Each Peach, Pear, Plum is yet another. Fairy tale and nursery rhymecharacters hide on the pages.Anno. Anno has lots of things to look for in his illustrations, such as fairy tale characters. Annos books(Annos Journey, Annos USA, Annos Italy) all have ‘the man on a horse’ in every scene along with lotsof optical tricks, hidden paintings and literary scenes.AVI always includes her son, curly-haired young boy.Baker, Keith. In Elephants Aloft (written by Kathi Appelt), a nut is hidden in each illustration. KeithBakers book, Hide and Snake is rather intricate. There is 1 item from each page that migrates to thenext page (each page has a different theme), and you can look for bees and fruit (I think) on each page.His Who is the Beast? has a snail on each page.Base, Graham. In The Eleventh Hour there are interesting clues to help solve the mystery of the story.Animalia is an alphabet book with hundreds of pictures on each page for each letter, some of which arequite challenging!. Also on each page he has hidden a young boy in blue pants and a striped shirt (it issupposed to be Graham as a child, not Waldo!)Brett, Jan. Ms. Brett hides a hedgehog in all her stories, sometimes one on each page. Once it was theFrench name for hedgehog, usually its a real or toy one. She once had a contest to win an authorvisit where people sent in lists of where they found “Hedgie” in all her books. Jan Brett always hassome activity in her margins--some more obvious than others. In Beauty and the Beast, the tapestriesbehind Beauty and her beast show the same scene, but with the beast as a young man.Brown, Marc. Marc hides his childrens names in his illustrations. It started with Tolon and Tucker andnow includes his daughter Eliza. Their friends’ names appear in some, too. Also look for his wifesname (Laurie) from time to time.Brown, Margaret Wise. Goodnight,Moon has a mouse hidden on each page. Also, the mouse movesall around the room, and the clock changes time (it takes an hour to get that bunny settled down!)Browne, Anthony. PIGGYBOOK-- As you get deeper and deeper in the story, more and more pigs areintegrated into his pictures.Buehner, Mark. (My Monster Mama Loves Me So, My Life Withthe Wave, etc.) hides animals in his illustrations. Usually you canalways find a cat, a dog, a rabbit, a dinosaur and various otheranimals. In Snowmen at Night and Snowmen at Christmas,Santa is also hidden. In his earlier books, he did not alert thereader that the items were hidden; in later books, he lists what tolook for. He also often illustrates for his wife, Laura.Catrow, David. Has a very distinctive style, very creative and Carin W. Barwick KSAL 10-2012 CWBarwick@gmail.com
  2. 2. strange. He likes to put crazy images in his illustrations, but not really comment on them. In RottenTeeth (Simms) the main character talks about her boring house, but it has many crazy items, includingan alien landing on the grass and an elephant mowing the lawn.Cole, Henry. Illustrated Pamela Edwards’ Some Snug Slug-- it has S shapes in the illustrations.Crews, Donald. Donald hides the year the book was created in his books. Look on license tags, andother places. Also, in Night at the Fair-- he has put a picture of himself in the book--looks just like theauthor picture on the flap.dePaola, Tomie. Tomie always includes his dog, a peacock, a dove and/or a heart shape. Many of hisstories about “Tom” or “Tommy” are about himself as a child. In The Art Lesson, the last page showsmany hints about Tomie’s real-life interests.Egan, Tim. Tim has said he said he likes to hide things in his illustrations. He hides different familynames and spoofs on famous art.Ehlert, Lois. Lois hides a heart in all of her books.Gilman, Phoebe. Ms. Gilman puts her husband and her daughter in herpicture books. (Jillian Jiggs or The Balloon tree.) The little girl (Jillian) inthe story of Jillian Jiggs is drawn after Phoebes daughter. She tries toput something from her earlier books into the pictures of her later books.E.g. Little Blue Ben (one of her earlier works) is seen in one of the artpictures on the wall in Jillian Jiggs. Also, the knots that are on the borderof Grandma and the Pirates) are all authentic knots (eg. sheep shank,reef knot etc.) as she did a lot of research before illustrating the books.Gwynne, Fred. (Yes, of the TV show The Munsters) Fred did this in this books--the little girl is alwayshis daughter. (Contributor noted: “Once at a conference I met both father and daughter. She is grownnow, of course, and really looks just like him!”) (titles: Chocolate Mousse for Dinner, The King WhoRained)Hillenbrand, Will In The Biggest Best Snowman" by Margery Cuyler, has the animals roll the snowballand it spells out “snowman” in the snow. This stretches out over several pages, and I never noticed iteven though I had to read this story repeatedly to my daughters! (Although, I do remember wonderingwhy they rolled the snowballs in that way…now it seems obvious!)Hyman, Trina Schart. At a conference, she mentioned that in the book Fortunetellers Daughter byLloyd Alexander that she illustrated she put her grandchild in the book as one of the babies one of themain male characters is her son-in-law. I have also heard that sometimes she hides things that are ‘off-color’ in her pictures.Kellogg, Steven. Mr. Kellogg usually hides Pinkerton and Secondhand Rose (his personal dog andcat) in his illustrations. He also occasionally writes them into the story (especially Pinkerton, who hashis own series) and they often appear in backgrounds without comment in the story.Lobel, Arnold & Anita. In the heart of On Marketplace by you will find old favorites Frog and Toad.Marshall, James This author/illustrator hides the flag of Texas in his books. James Marshall was fromTexas and has different Texas symbols in his illustrations. In Miss Nelson is Missing there is a Texasflag hanging in the classroom, and also Texas-themed bulletin board. In his Night Before ChristmasSanta has on Cowboy boots, etc. Carin W. Barwick KSAL 10-2012 CWBarwick@gmail.com
  3. 3. Mayer, Mercer has a cricket/grasshopper/mouse/spider in the illustrations of his Little Critter books.McCluskey, Robert used to put his entire family, including his mother-in-law in his books. InBlueberries for Sal, little Sal and her mother are said to be based on Robert McCloskeys wife,Margaret, and daughter, Sarah.McGeorge, Constance. Look for a scarecrow hidden on each page of the Waltz of the Scarecrows.Oxenbury, Helen. In The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas, illustrated byHelen Oxenbury, each time the little wolves are escaping the pig, they bring along their teapot.Masiello, Ralph. Mr. Masiello often teams with author Jerry Pallotta. Ralph hides pictures of Jerry andothers in his artwork. The Extinct Alphabet Book has "hidden pictures": the words "find Jerry" arehidden in the foliage of the trees on the "B" page, more words are hidden in the edge of the cliff on the"L" page, Jerrys face is on the "T" page and a silhouette of Elvis is on the "U" page and his guitarformed by a puddle of spilled paint. He has done this in other books on which he teamed with illustratorRalph Masiello. Also, in The Skull Alphabet Book, faces of the presidents of the US are hidden in thepages. They have co-created many books and they all have fun little secrets!Pinkney, Jerry. Mr. Pinkney (Ugly Duckling, The Talking Eggs…) uses his family members in his 30+books. In Sam and the Tigers he uses his wife. In Ugly Duckling he puts himself in. He also putsfaces in the foliage. You can look at the leaves and tree trunks.Rathman, Peggy, who wrote Goodnight Gorilla, references her otherbooks in her pictures.Rey, H. A. drew his black cocker spaniel in the Curious George books.Riley, Linnea has her characters in Song of Night reading her firstpicture book, Mouse Mess.Root, Phyllis. In One Duck Stuck there is a branch with a leaf that gets closer and closer to the duckuntil he is finally able to step on it and get out of the muck.SanSouci, Daniel. Daniel often collaborates with his author brother, Robert (over 13 books together!)He researches his Native American tales to ensure authenticity the illustrations of clothing and shelter.He is amused by the fact that in Two Bear Cubs, the animals are wearing traditional, ancient, nativeAmerican adornments (oviella shell necklaces) and the adults always say “how cute, the bears arewearing pearls, just like June Cleaver!”…in other books, Daniel uses his friends and family as modelsfor the characters. This usually works to his advantage, until one friend was upset that he was drawn tobe the homely Ichabod Crane!Scarry, Richard. In the old classic Cars and Trucks and Things that Go, Goldbug is hidden in everypicture (2 page spread). Kids in my college class pointed that out to me, reminiscing fondly aboutlooking for him.Sendak, Maurice. Mr. Sendak always puts his West Highland White Terrier (named Jenny)somewhere in his books. Jenny was Mr. Sendaks companion for many years and he was heartbrokenwhen she died.Sis, Peter. Check any of his books. They are filled with hidden and disguised images. The ThreeGolden Keys is a fabulous example. Carin W. Barwick KSAL 10-2012 CWBarwick@gmail.com
  4. 4. Sleator, William. On a higher level, likes to give the weird creatures in his books the names of goodfriends.Spengler, Kenneth. He has illustrated Jennifer Ward’s series of rhyming books, Way Out In theDesert, Over in the Garden, Way Up in the Arctic, Somewhere in the Ocean. In these books he not onlyputs the correct number of items to go with the counting story, he also hides the numeral, sometimes invery difficult ways to find. (In the desert book, on the 9 coyotes, one of the puppies tails curves into avery recognizable "9", on 5 gila monsters, there is a 5 in the pattern of scales, etc). ALSO he puts aminiature of the creature for the next page on the current page.Steig, William is in his book The Flying Latkes, hes on the TV screen.VanAllsburg, Chris. There is a white terrier (white dog with a black patch on one eye), named Fritz,somewhere within all of Chris VanAllsburgs books. The dog was a character in his first book, TheGarden of Abdul Gasazi. In one book he is a puppet, in another, a pull toy, and in one book he is thelabel of a bottle! Contrary to popular belief, it is not his dog, It was the dog of one of his relatives.Wiesner, David. The fellow eating a sandwich and drinking milk in Caldecott winner Tuesday is theillustrator himself. And in his surreal art you can often find interestingobjects (such as frog-shaped clouds).Wilks, Mike. He always includes a picture of himself and a snail in everypicture. In the Ultimate Noahs Ark, which has one picture broken up intoa number of panels for the illustrations, his picture is only in one panel,but the snail is in every one.Wood, Don and Audrey put their son in every book. In King Bidgood’s inthe Bathtub, the King was Don’s good friend, child was his kid.Young, Ed. On Lon Po Po’s dedication page, the face of his grandfatheris in the picture of the wolf. It is difficult to see. There are other tricky images also—On the first page,the landscape is a wolf’s head (the mom is walking toward the nose). At the end when the wolf is beingpulled up in the basket, the tree is very stylized. If you turn the page sideways, it looks like the wolf’shead. In particular, the basket with the wolf in it looks like an eye.Zelinsky, Paul O. In his Caldecott version of Rapunzel, the cat is on every page and it grows as thebook progresses.Many of the items on this list were originally compiled in a post from LM_NET somewhere around 2000. The linkis no longer active, but someone else has posted parts of the original list at http://nancykeane.com/rl/231.htm.Anything added or different from that list is from my own observations or editing (in some cases the original posthad the incorrect illustrator, etc.)If you know of any illustrator tricks to add to this list, if you want a digital copy sent to you, or have any questions, please feel free to email me at either CWBarwick@gmail.com or imabookpusher@gmail.com Thank You!Note: Feel free to use, reproduce, or modify this document to suit your needs. I just think it is a lot of fun, so if you do have suggestions or additions, please let me know! Carin W. Barwick KSAL 10-2012 CWBarwick@gmail.com