36 Children’s Book Illustrators in India

Children's Book Illustrators

Children’s books are extremely important. They are the first window for young readers into literature. They engage and encourage young minds with potent yet simple storytelling.

The components of most good literature for children are story (text) and illustrations (images). In acknowledging a book for children, the illustrator must also get credit, as their work is as integral as that of the writer.

The following is a list of some of the best children’s book illustrators in India. Because of the vast amount of work produced, no list can claim to be comprehensive, but this is a good starting point! 

Children's Book Illustrators

Archana Sreenivasan

Archana Sreenivasan is a Bangalore-based freelance children’s book illustrator. She has had her work published not only in children’s books but also in comic books, magazines, and book covers. 

  • Notable Works: My Bindi, Where Three Oceans Meet 
  • Notable Awards: Publishing Next Industry Award for Best Illustrator

Prabha Mallya

Prabha Mallya is a children’s book illustrator. She also teaches freehand drawing and other design courses at the University of Canterbury. 

  • Notable Works: The Alphabet of Animals and Birds, Salim Mamoo and Me
  • Notable Awards: The Hindu Young World-Goodbooks Award for Best Picture Book – Illustrations

Tanvi Bhat

Tanvi Bhat is a Mumbai-based children’s book illustrator. Her vivid colors and shapes are inspired by the streets of India. 

  • Notable Works: Dream Writer

Nancy Raj

Nancy Raj is a children’s book and comic strip illustrator living in Chennai.

  • Notable Works: Catch That Cat, Days With Thathu
  • Notable Awards: The Hindu Young World-Goodbooks Award for Best Picture Book – Illustrations

Rajive Eipe 

Rajive Eipe has published illustrations in children’s books, as well as more adult-themed work. The latter tends to revolve around contemporary socio-political events and insights. 

  • Notable Works: Dive
  • Notable Awards:  Big Little Book Award (BLBA) for illustration

Priya Kuriyan 

Priya Kuriyan is a comic book writer, children’s book illustrator, and animation filmmaker. She has illustrated over a hundred books and collaborated with the likes of Ruskin Bond, Manu S. Pillai, and Jerry Pinto. 

  • Notable Works: Ammachi’s Glasses, Poonachi: Lost in the Forest
  • Notable Awards:  Big Little Book Award (BLBA) for illustration

Alicia Souza

Children's Book Illustrator
In picture: Alicia Souza

Alicia Souza worked for the popular brand ‘Chumbak’. Apart from doing children’s book illustrations, she runs two online stores selling merchandise based on her illustrations. Her drawings are known for bringing out the simple joys of everyday life.

  • Notable Works: Kahaani Puraani
  • Notable Awards: Shortlisted as Freelance illustrator for WeAreTheCity Rising Stars Awards

Ruchi Mhasane

Ruchi Mhasane is a graduate of the Cambridge School of Art, living and working in India. 

  • Notable Works: Nabiya, Dance of the Wild

Sharanya Manivannan

Sharanya Manivannan is the author of seven books. She writes and illustrates fiction, poetry, children’s literature, and non-fiction.

Children's Book Illustrator
(C) Image from Mermaids in the Moonlight by Sharanya Manivannan
  • Notable Works: Mermaids in the Moonlight, The High Priestess never sleeps
  • Notable Awards: South Asia Laadli Award and nominated for The Hindu Prize, The JCB Prize, The Neev Book Award, The Atta Galatta-Bangalore Literature Festival Book Prize, The Tata Literature Live! First Book Award and other honours.

Lavanya Naidu

Lavanya Naidu is an illustrator and animator currently based in Melbourne. 

  • Notable Works: My First Book of Indian Dinosaurs

Soumya Menon 

Soumya Menon is an illustrator and animator and has worked on many children’s books. She studied animated film design at the National Institute of Design. 

  • Notable Works: Follow The Ants, The Great Birdywood Games
  • Notable Awards: Her Student film at NID won the best film at MOSNTRA- Lisbon Animated Film Festival

Kavita Arvind

Another graduate from NID, Kavita Arvind focuses mainly on independent art and illustrations. She has, however, collaborated on a few children’s books. 

  • Notable Works: Grandpa’s Suitcase of Stories, When I Grow Up

Atanu Roy

Atanu Roy is a highly regarded name in the Indian illustrator’s community. He has illustrated more than three hundred books for children and worked with writers like Amrita Pritam and Anita Nair. 

  • Notable Works: The Puffin Book of Magical Indian Myths, Wingless
  • Notable Awards: Big Little Book Award

Taposhi Ghoshal 

Taposhi Ghoshal is an illustrator and designer based in Delhi. 

  • Notable Works: The Mud Baby 
  • Notable Awards: Featured in Ibby Honours List 2008

Adrija Ghosh 

Adrija Ghosh is an illustrator living in Kolkata. She has said that her work is often inspired by the shapes and colours of Kolkata. 

  • Notable Works: Button Box 
Children's Book Illustrator
Image Source: Pinterest

Sagar Kolwankar

Sagar Kolwankar is a communication and product designer as well as an illustrator of children’s books. 

  • Notable Works: My Name Is Gulab, Red
  • Notable Awards: Neev Book Award

Jayesh Sivan

Jayesh Sivan is a designer and illustrator from Trivandrum, Kerala. He is part of the visiting faculty of NIFT Bangalore. 

  • Notable Works: Ammu and the Sparrows
  • Notable Awards: Ammu and the Sparrows won the Neev Book Award

Pallavi Jain 

Pallavi Jain is a chartered accountant turned graphic designer. She has also worked as an illustrator on several well-received Children’s books. 

  • Notable Works: Mountains of Mumbai
  • Notable Awards:  Featured in Artvilla’s (Artdom, 2012) ‘Top 100 Artists in Mumbai’

Sumanta Dey 

Sumanta Dey was an award-winning artist and illustrator. In his short life, he created an impressive and unique collection of masterpieces, including a children’s book.

  • Notable Works: Maccher Jhol
  • Notable Awards: Crossword Book Award (Best Children’s Book), Neev Book Award

Satwik Gade

Satwik Gade is an illustrator and visual journalist based in Chennai. 

  • Notable Works: Bhimrao Ambedkar: The Boy Who Asked Why 

Suddhasattwa Basu

Sudhasattwa Basu is a painter, writer, animator, and illustrator. He has collaborated with writers like Khushwant Singh. He lives and works in Delhi, 

  • Notable Works: The Song of the Scarecrow 
  • Notable Awards: Chitrakatha Award, special mention at the Biennial of Illustration, Bratislava

Pulak Biwas

Pulak Biswas was one of the leading names in the industry and a well-known illustrator of children’s books. 

  • Notable Works: Ashok’s New Friend, Mahagiri, Amma Pyari Amma
  • Notable Awards: Biennial of Illustration Bratislava, National Award for Children’s Literature

M.T.V Acharya 

M.T.V Acharya became an icon in the field of illustration through his pioneering work in the children’s magazine Chandamama. 

  • Notable Works: Chandamama

Jagdish Joshi 

Jagdish Joshi was a well-established Indian illustrator. He illustrated several children’s books for the National Book Trust. 

  • Notable Works: A Voice in the Jungle, How Munia Found Gold 
  • Notable Awards: Nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award 

Yusuf Lien 

Yusuf Lien is a comic book illustrator and calligrapher with a distinct artistic style.

  • Notable Works: Amar Chitra Katha: Mirabai, Tansen

Karuvattu Mana Vasudevan Namboothiri

Namboothiri is a highly respected painter, sculptor, literary illustrator, and director, and is revered by artists the world over. 

  • Notable Works: Kuttikalude Ramayanam
  • Notable Awards: Chairman of the Kerala Lalitakala Academy, Kerala State Film Award For Best Director, Raja Ravi Varma Award, Bala Sahitya Award for Best Illustration 
Children's Book Illustrators

Badri Narayan 

Badri Narayan was an illustrator, author, artist, and storyteller. Apart from his excellent illustrations for children’s work, his independent work has been exhibited in spaces such as the National Gallery of Modern Art. 

  • Notable Works: The Mahabharata, The Ramayana 
  • Notable Awards: Padma Shri, Maharashtra Gourav Puruskar

Manjula Padmanabham 

Manjula Padmanabham wears many hats. She is a playwright, comic strip writer, author, and illustrator of children’s books. 

  • Notable Works: Indrani and the Enchanted Jungle, Droopy Dragon 

Gaman Palem 

Gaman Palem is primarily a comic book illustrator and is known for his work for children’s comic books around mythological themes. 

  • Notable Works: The Golden Mythology Series
  • Notable Awards: National Award for Excellence in Printing Children’s Books 

Vaddadi Papaiah 

Vaddadi Papaiah was a well-known painter and illustrator, famous for his work on Telugu magazine covers. 

  • Notable Works: Chandamama

Mickey Patel 

Mickey Patel was a designer, cartoonist, and illustrator. He illustrated several books for children and also worked with some of the leading magazines and newspapers in the country. 

  • Notable Works: Snake Trouble, Rupa the Elephant 
  • Notable Awards: Noma Concours by UNESCO for picture book illustrations

Achutan Ramachandran 

A . Ramachandran is a painter and illustrator. Though primarily known for his paintings, Ramachandran has also illustrated various books for children. 

  • Notable Works: The Magic Puppets, This India, Hanuman, Song of Circles
  • Notable Awards: Padma Bhushan, Noma Concours 

Prabhakar Rao

Prabhakar Rao, better known as Raobail, was a cartoonist and an illustrator. Apart from his numerous other achievements, he wrote and illustrated children’s books for UNICEF. 

  • Notable Works: Saban, Railgaadi
  • Notable Awards: Indian Institute of Cartoonists- Lifetime Achievement Award

Shakthi Dass

Shakthi Dass is a painter and sketcher. His illustrated work has appeared on magazine covers, comics, and newspapers. 

  • Notable Works: Chandrabala

Bhajju Shyam 

Bhajju Shyam is an Indian artist, from the Gond-Pardhaan community in Madhya Pradesh. He is a skilled and creative practitioner of Pardhaan folk art. 

  • Notable Works: The London Jungle Book, The Life of Trees Night
  • Notable Awards: Padma Shri, Bologna Children’s Book Fair 

K.G Subramanyam 

K.G Subramanyam was an artist known for his murals and illustrations. He also was a mentor to some of the country’s leading artists like Shanti Dave and Laxmi Goud. 

  • Notable Works: The Tale of the Talking Face, When God First Made the Animals He Made Them All Alike. 
  • Notable Awards: Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Gold Medal at the First International Triennale in New Delhi 

Conclusion 

Indian Children’s Literature is filled with groundbreaking and beautiful illustrations. Next time you need a new book for your child, consider some of these visual masterpieces!  

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