All about books illustrated by artist Jim Harris.  Jim’s biography, tips for art students, advice and techniques for illustrating picture books. Jim Harris Children’s Books Home Page Tips and Techniques for Art Students Frequently (and Infrequently) Asked Questions about becoming a children’s picture book illustrator.  Facts and trivia about a job as an illustrator -- from best-selling children’s artist, Jim Harris Email Jim Harris.  Leave a reader comment… or just say howdy. Link to Jim Harris Fantasy Art, Caricatures, Portraits and Sporting Art.  Jim Harris – The Story of a Children’s Book Illustrator.  Learn how Jim became a picture book artist. Creative Writing Tips from Author and Illustrator, Jim Harris Day to Day Life as a Children’s Book Illustrator.  Information for students learning about the day to day job of a picture-book illustrator. Illustrating a Picture Book, Start to Finish.  The step by step process of illustrating a children’s picture book.  Activities for Kids.  Fun reading, writing and math activities from Jim Harris’s children’s books.

Art tips from the Southwestern fairy tale The Three Little Javelinas.  Jim Harris tells about the jokes illustrators play with their young readers and shares how he created some of his most famous picture-book characters.

The Three Little Javelinas


See the silly puppies that fill another Jim Harris’ wiggly-eyeball book.  Ten Little Puppies who can’t seem to stay out of trouble!  New 2009!

Ten Little Puppies


Illustration techniques for students from The Trouble with Cauliflower.   Tips for young artists about how to use texture in illustrations for children’s books.

The Trouble with Cauliflower


Go on location to Louisiana with Jim Harris and learn about developing a central character for the Cajun fairy tale Petite Rouge.

Petite Rouge


Jim Harris gives art tips from Three Little Dinosaurs.  Information for art students -- about how to use acrylic and oil paints and about cleaning your paintbrush!

Three Little Dinosaurs


Illustration advice by artist Jim Harris from the book  The Treasure Hunter.  Jim gives tips for art students about using overlapping to make paintings and drawings look realistic.

The Treasure Hunter


Jim Harris shares illustration techniques from The Three Little Cajun Pigs.  Learn how to illustrate a picture book using visual rhythm and diagonal lines.

Three Little Cajun Pigs


Tips by illustrator Jim Harris for using parody in children’s books, from the cowboy love story for kids, Slim and Miss Prim.  Thoughts for creative students about illustrators’ spelling woes, too!

Slim and Miss Prim


Jim Harris tells stories from early in his illustration career.  True-life stories about an illustrator’s job.’

Towns Down Underground


Jim Harris gives tips for young artists from his fractured fairy tale, Jack and the Giant. Funny insights about the process of writing and illustrating a book for children.

Jack and the Giant


Jim explains more about the job of illustrating a picture book.  Fun facts about creating art for a novelty book from the best-selling children’s title, Ten Little Dinosaurs.

Ten Little Dinosaurs


Jim Harris gives tips for creating vibrantly colored children’s illustrations in a little talk about how to use saturated and unsaturated colors in the Southwestern fractured fairy tale Tortoise and the Jackrabbit.

Tortoise and the Jackrabbit


Dinosaur's Night Before Christmas, a holiday story as told by Jim Harris - the perfect Christmas gift for dinosaur lovers

Dinosaurs Night Before

Jim Harris Talks About Illustrating...

The Bible ABC.  Funny pictures of Bible characters from A to Z.  Illustrated by Jim Harris

The Bible ABC

The Bible ABC is a fun introduction to a lot of different Bible characters, from Balaam, who had a chat with his donkey, to Noah, who “built a great boat, before it had water in which to float!” 

As usual, it was my job to create suitably light-hearted art for The Bible ABC…

‘Peter Sailing on the Sea of Galilee’  Humorous Bible illustration by artist Jim Harris.


and since I’m a great fan of the Bible and of the God who wrote it… it was a very enjoyable task.  And there were a few people who helped make it even more enjoyable.  Namely, the folks at the publishing company.

Whenever you illustrate a new book, you work with a lot of different people.  There’s the author of course, the art director at the publishing company, and usually the editor and the sales team at the publisher, as well. 

‘Doubting Thomas’  One of my favorite Bible characters… whom I greatly enjoyed illustrating.

At some publishers, the editor has the final say on how the artwork should look.  At other publishers, it’s the art director who makes those decisions.  And if you happen to be working on a pop-up or other novelty book, a paper engineer will be in on the decision-making process, too.  Basically, a paper engineer’s job is to make sure that the illustrations can be turned into pops and flaps that work in real life.  

The dummies made by paper engineers for pop-up books are marvels of creative ingenuity.  Here’s one for a book called Gruesome Stew.

Pop-up book dummy.  This dummy was designed by a paper engineer for a children’s book called Gruesome Stew.

But back to The Bible ABC…

The editor for this particular book was very helpful in all the normal ways -- she offered lots of great suggestions on the sketches, gave helpful advice on references and resources, and so on and so forth, but…  most important of all … at Christmas time she sent a whole cookie tin full of chocolate chip cookies.  This resulted in her receiving a unanimous vote for Editor-of-the-Year from my family (and my gaining about 5 pounds in the space of one week.)


‘Hagar and Ishmael’  Another Biblical illustration by artist Jim Harris.

I actually still have that cookie tin.  I think we use it for holding spare sewing supplies in the costume department.  All of us illustrators have “costume departments.”  It really means… the person in our family who loves us enough to stitch up realistic costumes for fairy-tale creatures and Bible-characters and medieval princesses, based on nothing more than the illustrator’s vague descriptions… and usually on only a few hours’ notice before the photo-shoot.  (Artists are not generally long-term advance schedulers.)  These costume departments deserve a lot of credit for how some of our illustrations turn out, believe me!

‘Queen Esther Takes the Castle’  More humorous Biblical art from illustrator Jim Harris.

Well, with a lot of help from the “costume department” at my house and the editor at Tommy Nelson Publishing, I finally got all the Bible characters in their final silly poses for The Bible ABC… and I think it’s a really fun book for finding out more about some famous -- and some not-so-famous -- people in the Bible.

I don’t think The Bible ABC is in print any more.  But if you find it in a library, you might want to read it.  I hope it gives you a few grins.


Buy the book The Bible ABC at Amazon.Buy an original illustration from The Bible ABC.

Link to Jim Harris Children’s Books Home PageEmail the page ‘The Bible ABC: More About Illustrating a Children’s Book’ to a friend.

Images and Text © 2009 Jim Harris. All Rights Reserved