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8 Illustrated Book Characters We Wish Were Real

We've all had that favourite book character we wished we could bring to life. Whether that was the Velveteen Rabbit or the Very Hungry Caterpillar, there are certain characters that will always hold a special place in our hearts. 

After interviewing two fantastic children’s book illustrators, we thought we would take you on a trip down memory lane and rediscover some of our favourites. If this doesn’t move you to take an illustration course, we don’t know what will!

1. The Velveteen Rabbit

Illustration of the Velveteen Rabbitvia 

Originally illustrated by William Nicholson, the book was first published in 1922 and tells the story of a rabbit who tries to become real through the love of his owner.

2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Illustration of the Very Hungry Caterpillarvia

A firm favourite, who could forget this little guy? Written and illustrated by Eric Carle, who has sold more than 41 million copies of his Very Hungry Caterpillar.

3. The Wild Things

Illustration of the Wild Thingsvia

A book that has been made into an opera and a film several times over, Where the Wild Things Are is a clear favourite in the office.

4. The Cat in the Hat

Illustration of the Cat in the Hat with a blue backgroundvia

Who likes Green Eggs and Ham? Our childhoods wouldn’t be the same without Dr Seuss, A.K.A. Theodor Geisel, who wrote and illustrated the famous Cat in the Hat series.

5. Peter Rabbit

Garden scene with Peter Rabbit eating radishesvia

How could we forget the nation's favourite rabbit? The beautiful illustrations by Beatrix Potter have sold over 151 million copies worldwide and have lived on in history as some of the most famous and beloved children's books of all time. 

6. The Roald Dahl Characters

Roald Dahl characters emerging from a bookvia

Most famous for bringing to live the characters of Roald Dahl’s books, Quentin Blake has won international awards for his works. Whether it’s James and the Giant Peach, Matilda or the Big Friendly Giant, our bedtime stories would not be the same without Quentin Blake’s drawings.

7. The Mr. Men

Mr. Men and Little Miss characters gathered outsidevia

Roger Hargreaves is best remembered for writing and illustrating his brightly coloured Mr. Men and Little Miss series. With the likes of Mr Tickle and Little Miss Sunshine featuring in the 46 Mr Men and 33 Little Miss stories, we all remember turning the pages of those little square books.

8. The Patchwork Elephant

Illustration of the Patchwork Elephantvia

Elmer the patchwork elephant might not be the most famous of the children’s book characters, but he's one we still love. Created by British author and illustrator David McKee, the colourful elephant set out to teach children about diversity, as Elmer paints himself grey trying to fit in with the other elephants.

Who are your favourite illustrated book characters?

If you're feeling inspired to pick up your colouring pencils and get to doodling now, why not take an illustration course and learn from the best!

Browse Illustration courses here

Last updated: 02 Oct 2019

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