You be the Illustrator Book Activity

This activity was my baby, I thought about it for months. Planned every little detail. Talked about it non stop, and then enjoyed every minute of it. Unfortunately it was very difficult to photograph. It was also difficult to name. I hope I can do this book activity justice because it truly was a good one… I promise!

book activity

You be the Illustrator Book Activity

What you need: A book, brown paper bag, paper, crayons and pencils

I spent quite a bit of time searching for the perfect book. It was important that I found one that none of the kids had read. This book activity was for Little M’s kindergarten class so I wanted to stay away from anything too popular.

The book I found was Night Letters by Palmyra LoMonaco was perfect! (Even if you are not doing this activity you should check it out).

Tips for finding the right book
1. The story should be fairly short.
2. Make sure the story stands on it’s own without the pictures.
3. Stay away from characters that are too obvious or really difficult to draw. (Unless of course your little one likes a challenge. 😉 )
4. The more details the better, that way your illustrator will have a lot to choose from!

book activity

I wrapped the book with a brown paper bag ahead of time.

book activity

On the white board I wrote the title, author and left the illustrator blank.

Before opening the book we talked about the roles of an author and an illustrator  We discussed how some books are written and illustrated by the same person, while some books have a separate author and illustrator. We talked about different ways two people could work on the same book.

 I read through the story once, keeping the pictures hidden. I asked the kids to illustrate the cover of this book using the story they had just heard.

book activity

Once everyone was finished with their drawings we reread the book. This time I showed the pictures. We talked about whether or not their vision was the same as the illustrators.

Do you have a book in mind that would be good for this activity?

This post contains an affiliate link. As always opinions are mine. Read the Fine Print.


  1. Funny you should ask. I follow this blog, but I was attracted to this post because I have a story I am considering publishing as an “illustrate it yourself” book, and asking the readers to send me scans or photos of their covers and illustrations. I’m still playing with whether it’s a workable idea. Thinking of setting up a free website that would be just for this book and the illustrations children send. I didn’t want to have any “competition” between illustrators — so I really like your project and its emphasis on different illustrators having different views!

  2. I love the way you covered the book in brown paper. It adds a huge sense of mystery to the project.

    We have done something similar by drawing illustrations from the story rather than the cover.( However, I love way you had the children design the cover of this book. Will definitely be trying this with my boys. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow what an amazing idea I am going to try this with my son (8) he doesn`t draw much so this might be inspiring for him to, my little girl (2 ) can`t understand it yet but she draws /scribbles every day she even comes and shows her drawing to me so cute i bought her a little drawing table for her birthday
    thanx for sharing hugs Andrea

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