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  1. Paddington Bear. Reading those two words probably brought an image into your mind of a little bear wearing a blue jacket and a red hat. The timeless children’s book is loved both for the beautiful words of Michael Bond and the illustrations that capture the essence of Paddington and bring the book to life. After all, when you read the words “Paddington Bear”, you probably pictured a bear and his marmalade sandwiches before remembering a quote from the book. Just as this example shows, illustrations can transform a children's book, continue reading to find out how bespoke illustrations can enhance your self-published children’s book.

    Paddington Bear Book Illustrations

    Looking for bespoke illustrations to bring your self-published children’s book to life? Find out more about our bespoke book illustration commissions here.

    How bespoke illustrations bring clarity to your self-published children’s book 

    When it comes to your self-published children’s book, one of the most important ways that bespoke illustrations can enhance your book is by making the concepts in your book easier for children to understand. Bespoke illustrations can be used to bring life to the main themes and key points in the book, helping your young readers to understand the most important parts of the plot.

    Bespoke illustrations can provide extra information about characters and scenes which are not included in the text. Whilst children are learning to read, books can be confusing and so the illustrations support their reading, to help them understand the story. Being able to understand the story is vital for ensuring that children enjoy reading your self-published book.

    Bespoke childrens book illustration

    How bespoke illustrations can help children to enjoy your self-published book

    Illustrations can help to emphasise the tone of your self-published book and this can make the book more enjoyable to read. The book images are particularly important if your self-published book is aimed at young children who are likely to have the book read to them, as they can enjoy looking at the illustrations whilst listening to the story. The bespoke illustrations can therefore help to keep the children’s attention on storytime and help them to get lost in the book.

    Bespoke illustrations are designed to capture the reader’s imagination, not show them the whole story. By having your characters illustrated, young readers are more aware of the characters and how they appear. The illustrations can therefore help make your book more interactive, with the illustrations sparking the imagination of young readers so they can imagine the story and visualise the different possibilities for the characters. 

    How bespoke illustrations can help encourage people to purchase your self-published children’s book

    The initial tone of your self-published book and how it is perceived will be judged by shoppers largely on the illustrations and title. As well as influencing the tone, the bespoke illustrations that you choose for your self-published book can help to make your book more attractive. The illustrations can also help shoppers to determine the age range that the book is aimed at and whether it is suitable for your young reader. Not only can bespoke illustrations enhance your self-published children’s book but they can also encourage people to purchase your book.

    Bespoke illustrations for self-published childrens book

    The importance of finding the best illustrator for your self-published children’s book

    Bespoke illustrations can enhance your self-published children’s book and so it is vital that you find the right illustrator. When looking for the right illustrator for your children’s book, consider which illustration style would be best suited to your book. For example, my children’s book illustrations usually have watercolour backgrounds that I work on top of. Other important considerations when looking for an illustrator include the timescale you are working with and who the book is aimed at, for more information take a look at my article on how to find the best illustrator for your children’s book.

    Enhancing your Self-Published Children’s Book with Bespoke Illustrations

    Bespoke illustrations can enhance your children’s book by bringing the book to life whilst also helping the young reader to both understand and enjoy the story. On a more practical level, the illustrations that accompany your children’s book can draw people in and encourage shoppers to purchase your book.

    Find out more about how I can bring your self-published children’s book to life with bespoke illustrations here.


  2. A trend that initially started in the United States, baby showers, are now all the rage in the UK. As a mum-to-be, a baby shower brings the opportunity to ask friends and family with children for advice. A baby shower can also give you the chance to relax and enjoy yourself before the baby arrives and of course, loved ones can bring their gifts for the new baby. As with any party, planning is key and this guide includes my top tips for creating the perfect baby shower.

    Deciding the Date for your Perfect Baby Shower

    The first step when creating your perfect baby shower is to decide on a date. Baby showers tend to be held when the mum-to-be is over seven months pregnant, which gives you plenty of time to decide on the perfect date. Saturday and Sunday afternoons are the most common days of the week for baby showers. 

    Although having your baby shower before your birth is the norm, your perfect baby shower can be held either before or after the birth - there are advantages to both. So really it is up to you and what you feel will be best for you and your baby. Having your baby shower before your birth will give you a chance to relax and get some moral support at a time when you might be needing some extra comfort. Whereas having your baby shower after the birth can double up as a meet-the-baby party.

    Creating a Perfect Baby Shower

    Creating the Perfect Baby Shower - Know the Numbers 

    Once you have decided on the date of your baby shower, there are a couple of other numbers you need to consider - the guest list and budget. Writing a guest list is so important because you don’t want the numbers to get out of hand or to have no idea how many people will be attending. The number of people on your guest list may be affected by your budget and I recommend setting a hard budget for how much you want to spend. Having a budget is important because even though your perfect baby shower is a special occasion, you don’t want it to be dampened by running out of money and having to eat into your budget for when your baby arrives.

    Finding a Venue for your Perfect Baby Shower 

    Baby showers can be anything from a relaxed get-together with friends at your house to a full-on party held in a special venue. After you have set your budget, the next step is to decide how formal you want your baby shower to be. When choosing a venue, don’t forget to plan refreshments for your guests. The refreshments for your baby shower can be anything from tasty snacks and cakes to a full meal. If you are looking for low-key venue inspiration, cafes can be the perfect location for a baby shower and the only planning required is to book a table big enough - sorted!

    Baby Shower Cupcakes

    With the date, guest list and venue confirmed, it is time to send your baby shower invitations. Pampers recommend that you send your invitations six weeks before your baby shower to allow guests enough time to buy presents and for you to plan the party, but it is not too far away in terms of your pregnancy.

    The Extra Special Touches for Creating the Perfect Baby Shower

    After you have sorted all of the practical details for your baby shower, you can move onto the fun bit - the extra special touches. Let your guests know what they are celebrating by choosing some fitting decorations for your chosen venue. To reduce waste (and save money), instead of purchasing items purely as baby shower decor, why not opt for pieces your baby can enjoy once they are born. For example, our Children’s Bunny Cushions are a lovely touch at any baby shower and the perfect addition to your nursery once your baby is born. If you have decided on a name for your little one, an illustration of their name is another lovely personal addition to your baby shower that then becomes a decoration for your baby’s bedroom.

    Baby Shower Illustrated Name Decor

    Baby shower games can be another extra special touch that you could incorporate into your party. Organising games can be a nice way to spend some of the time and will keep your guests entertained. For more inspiration, take a look at these 40 fun baby shower games.

    Top Tips for Creating the Perfect Baby Shower 

    Becoming a mum-to-be is such an exciting time and having a baby shower is a lovely way to share your joy and excitement with friends and family. As well as giving you a chance to relax, your baby shower will also allow your loved ones to feel part of your pregnancy and bring gifts for your new baby. If you want to be really organised when creating the perfect baby shower, get some thank you cards in advance, so that they are ready to send to loved ones after your party - browse our range of thank you cards here.

    There is no one way to create the perfect baby shower so don’t put too much pressure on yourself and remember that having a baby shower is all about having fun!