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Photographed by Michelle Drewes
Authors & Illustrators

The Bookshelf: Inside Illustrator Christian Robinson’s Sacramento Studio

Written by Erin Feher

Photography by Michelle Drewes

If you think back to the books you loved most as a kid, we’re betting it’s pictures, not words, that first come to mind. Certain images and illustration styles attached to children’s books become iconic, and we don’t think it’s hyperbole to say the works of Christian Robinson are on the icon track. The young illustrator has thirteen books under his belt, and at least the same number of awards and honors, including a pair of Coretta Scott King Award Illustration Honors (Last Stop on Market Street, The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker), the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year (Leo: A Ghost Story), and a Caldecott Honor. We here at Mother are transparently big fans, and have included his books in numerous roundups, including the Best Children’s Books of 2018, Black History Books for Kids, Beautiful Children’s Books to Give As Gifts, Books that Inspire Empathy, and many more.

So, when Christian agreed to show us around his sunny, newly renovated studio, located behind his charming Sacramento home, we were beyond excited. He invited us over just days after returning home from a nationwide tour promoting his latest book, Another—the first that he is credited as both illustrator and author. Below, Christian gets candid about his creative process, his upbringing, and why it’s so important to him that little kids see themselves in his books. Click through to see the whole tour!

For more children’s books inspiration, check out our previous “The Bookshelf” profiles with authors and illustrators Jon Klassen, Yuyi Morales, and Isabel Sanchez Vegara,

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