Favorite Illustrated Books

I’ve been wanting to put together a list of my favorite illustrated books for a while, but just haven’t gotten around to it for whatever reason. But now that I have another book to add to this list, it seems like the perfect time to finally do this post!

A disclaimer before we go any further: I am not a photographer, so I’m sorry that these photos are nothing special. Hopefully they at least give you a good sense of how beautiful these books are!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay

I’m sure seeing the illustrated copies of the Harry Potter series on this list comes as no surprise. These editions are absolutely gorgeous, and I love the amount of small details that goes into these books in addition to the beautiful drawings. They’ve done an amazing job with the first three, and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for us.


Look at those drawings! Right from page one, this book does an amazing job drawing you in and visualizing the story.


How beautiful is this two-page spread?


I really appreciate that the illustrations aren’t just limited to title pages or two-page spreads. There are so many gems hidden throughout this book.


Even pages without illustrations have detailing! I love how they aged the pages of this spread and made it look used.


Here’s another one where there isn’t an image like you’d expect, but it does a great job enhancing the story and getting you in the mood to go down the trapdoor.

Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan, illustrated by John Rocco

I’m a huge fan of John Rocco’s work on the covers of Rick Riordan’s books, so I was really excited when they announced they were coming out with Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, which is probably one of the first illustrated books I purchased. I do wish there had been more illustrations like there are in the illustrated Harry Potter books, but these are still beautifully done. I think they’re working on an illustrated version of The Lightning Thief, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!


Starting things off right with some great chapter headers!


Look at this illustration of Poseidon. Isn’t it beautiful?


Here’s another great illustration.


While there aren’t as many illustrations as in Harry Potter, this book still has a bunch of smaller images dropped throughout the book.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, illustrated by Alice Pattullo

I’m actually kind of surprised there aren’t more illustrated editions of Pride and Prejudice, but this one is so beautiful that I don’t even care. Like the illustrated Harry Potters, this book has something new on almost every page. I love the color palette that they used in this book, and how amazing are the sprayed edges?! I’m a HUGE fan of sprayed edges, and this is the first time I’ve seen any with a pattern on the edges.



Look at that spread! It’s a really unique art style that grows on me more and more.


I love how the images are incorporated into this book. And there are so many of them!


Here’s another one of Lydia’s hand resting on the carriage to show off her ring.


This is such a great illustration.

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo, illustrated by Sara Kipin

The Language of Thorns is so, so stunning. They did an amazing job with this book. I love how every page has some sort of illustration and that the illustration grows as the story progresses before you eventually get a full two-page spread. And they did it by primarily focusing on only two colors! Plus the cover and the naked hardback are gorgeous too. This is everything I want an illustrated book of dark fairy tales to be.



Here’s an early image in one of the first stories.


Here’s the same story a few pages later.


Here’s the full border.


And the two-page spread at the end of the story!


The stories alternate between focusing on a specific color, although this particular story is unique in that it switches between the two colors partway through the story.

Bygone Badass Broads by Mackenzi Lee, illustrated by Petra Eriksson

Last but certainly not least, Bygone Badass Broads is the book that finally got me to put this post together. This book has a great premise (telling the stories of historical women that aren’t mainstream with an emphasis on nonwhite, nonwestern, and not straight women) and an amazing title, plus it’s written by an author’s whose works I enjoy, but what really prompted me to buy this book as soon as it came out was the illustrations! All of the women featured in this book get an illustration, and they’re amazing! I also really like the cover and the ombre color palette they used on the title and the spine/back cover. It’s such a pretty book.



Isn’t it pretty? And I like how a bunch of the pages with text are lightly shaded, too.




As you can see, I have a weakness for beautiful books! Let me know what some of your favorite illustrated books are in the comments!

15 thoughts on “Favorite Illustrated Books

  1. I love Language of Thorns. I’m really behind in my reading and haven’t read any of the others yet. It’s been a lonnggggg time since I’ve read anything by Riordan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so impressed by them. They’re definitely not copies you’ll carry around and read, but I think the illustrations just add a really nice extra layer to the story.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I stumbled across it on The Parchment Girl’s blog and immediately had to order a copy between the sprayed edges and the illustrations so I could add it to my Jane Austen collection. It’s such a great addition!


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