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Children's Book Week - Meet Illustrator Peter Willis

Children's Book Week - Meet Illustrator Peter Willis


Nantucket Sea Monster page 32

When Illustrator Peter Willis created this image (page 32 of THE NANTUCKET SEA MONSTER) he used individual digital files, creating a digital collage. Can you guess how many individual files went into making this image? (See the answer below.)

British artist Peter Willis is one of Mims House’s most exciting illustrators, with an impressive record of awards. We decided to feature his work this week during Children’s Book Week 2022 (CBW 2022) Are you doing a study of an illustrator? Choose Peter! Why? Because he’s a fantastic storyteller with his art.

To help celebrate CBW 2022, Peter created a drawing project that you can download here: Peter Willis Drawing Project


Willis’s Work – Recognized for Excellence!

The Moments in Science seven-book series has been recognized for excellence with:

  • 2 Starred Kirkus reviews
  • 2 Junior Library Guild selections
  • 2 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books
  • NSSTA Outstanding Social Studies Book
  • NCTE Notable Children’s Book in Language Arts

Come back tomorrow to find out Peter’s favorite book that he has illustrated.


Q: You work in a digital collage. Can you talk about your process?

I have worked as a graphic designer for over 30 years, so I use the same principles as that really. I do my research (I usually make a scrapbook of the subject) then I do rough pencil sketches. The next step would be final visuals and then on to the illustration work. I usually put all the work together on the computer in InDesign. Being a designer, I find it handy that I can do the book design myself.

Q: Sometimes, your images include paper that has been painted. Why do you choose this technique?

I really like the texture the paper brings. In this age where almost everything has been computer generated, I think this hand-crafted look really stands out.


DIGITAL COLLAGE ANSWER: The image above was created from 34 individual files.


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About Darcy Pattison

Children’s book author and indie publisher DARCY PATTISON writes award-winning fiction and non-fiction books for children. Five books have received starred PW, Kirkus, or BCCB reviews. Awards include the Irma Black Honor award, five NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books, two Eureka! Nonfiction Honor book, two Junior Library Guild selections, two NCTE Notable Children’s Book in Language Arts, a Notable Social Studies Trade Book, an Arkansiana Award, and the Susannah DeBlack Arkansas Children’s History Book
award. She’s the 2007 recipient of the Arkansas Governor’s Arts Award for Individual Artist for her work in children’s literature. Her books have been translated into ten languages.

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