:  Information about children’s books by illustrator Jim Harris.  Illustrator biography, tips for children’s book illustrators, advice and techniques for illustrating picture books, and student writing activities from Jim’s children’s books. Jim Harris Children’s Books Home Page Advice for Students About Techniques for Illustrating Children’s Picture Books Frequently Asked Questions about becoming a children’s picture book writer and illustrator.  Tips for students from children’s author and illustrator, Jim Harris Email Jim Harris. Contact email for teacher enquiries, comments from readers, and for just saying hi. Link to More Pages about Jim Harris Fantasy Artwork, Caricatures, Sports Art and Portrait Art.  Jim Harris – Biography of a Children’s Book Illustrator Advice for Student Writers by Author and Illustrator, Jim Harris A Day in the Life of a Children’s Book Illustrator.  Information for student writers and illustrators about day to day life creating picture books. Illustrating a Picture Book, Start to Finish.  The step by step process of illustraing a children’s picture book.  Tips about the writer’s role in the illustration process. Activities for Kids.  Student writing activities, student numeracy activities based on writer and illustrator Jim Harris’s children’s books.

A new Jim Harris’ wiggly-eyeball book.  Ten Little Puppies who can’t seem to stay out of trouble.  Writing by Marian Harris, illustrating by Jim.

Ten Little Puppies


Tips from writer and illustrator Jim Harris about the children’s book Petite Rouge – Read a story by Jim about going on location for creating children’s picture books.

Petite Rouge


Jim Harris shares tips from Three Little Dinosaurs –  Information for students interested in an children’s book career about illustrating picture books with oil and acrylic.

Three Little Dinosaurs


Jim Harris talks about his illustrations in The Trouble with Cauliflower – info for students about how to use texture to achieve variety in children’s book illustrations.

The Trouble with Cauliflower


Jim Harris gives tips for students from The Three Little Javelinas – about the jokes illustrators play with their readers.  Things writers need to know about illustrators!

The Three Little Javelinas


Illustration advice by author/illustrator Jim Harris from The Treasure Hunter --  tips for students about using overlapping to make paintings and drawings look realistic.

The Treasure Hunter


Jim Harris’ gives advice for students from The Three Little Cajun Pigs – tips on illustrating a picture book using visual rhythm and diagonal lines in artwork.

Three Little Cajun Pigs


Tips from writer and illustrator Jim Harris about Slim and Miss Prim – and the process of using parody in a children’s book.  Advice for young writers about spelling woes, too!

Slim and Miss Prim


Jim Harris gives information for students interested in a writing or illustrating career from Towns Down Underground.  Details Jim’s path to an illustration and writing career.

Towns Down Underground


Find out how to use frisket and paint with saturated (and unsaturated colors) as Jim Harris discusses his illustrations for Tortoise and the Jackrabbit—Susan Lowell’s ever-popular Southwestern version of ‘Tortoise and the Hare.’

Tortoise and the Jackrabbit


Ten Little Dinosaurs causing trouble for everyone… even the illustrator.  Jim explains the problems and processes for dealing with HOLES in your children’s book illustrations!

Ten Little Dinosaurs


From art directors to sales departments, everybody has advice about how to illustrate a children’s book.  Jim tells how he coped when illustrating The Bible ABC picture book.

Bible ABC


Here’s another Cajun version of a classic fairytale by writer Mike Artell—this time it’s Jack and the Beanstalk who turn up down on the Louisiana bayou!  Detailed watercolor illustrations by artist Jim Harris.

Jacques And De Beanstalk

Jim Harris Talks About ...

‘Cajun Giant’  Watercolor illustration from Jacques and de Beanstalk, a children’s Cajun fairy tale by writer Mike Artell and illustrator Jim Harris.

Tips for Young Writers


A few thoughts about writing…

1.  Turn off your TV.  Writing takes time.  Time to stare out the window and wait for a good thought.  Time to scribble down thoughts that arrive all at once out of the blue.  And time to re-write what you thought was creative genius just a few days ago, but now recognize as rather boring.

So where can you get more time?  Well, I suggest squeezing a hunk off the 20 hours a week most people spend watching TV.  It’s a scary thought… but you’ll never regret doing it.

‘One Small Step’ One young Cajun who decided not to take his MaMa’s advice.  From Jacques and de Beanstalk by author Mike Artell and illustrator Jim Harris.

2.  When you’re ready to write…  take off your shoes, kick back on the sofa, and let the creativity flow.  A long time ago I heard someone say that human beings are at their most creative when their brains are horizontal.  At the time that sounded silly to me… but it really works. 

You just have to develop the knack of writing (or typing into your laptop) at a funny angle.   A knack for ignoring smart remarks from other people helps, too. 

‘Magic Bean Man’  The peddler from Jacques and de Beanstalk…  with a few investment tips for young Jacques.

3.  Write to a particular person.  No, no, I don’t mean write a letter to someone.  What I mean is, imagine that you’re writing your article or story for one of your acquaintances to read… and choose your words to grab that person’s attention. 

If you decide to “write to” Uncle Joe and as you go along you realize this stuff would put Uncle Joe to sleep… you know it’s time to start over.  But if you’re thinking, hey I just might mail this off to Uncle Joe… it would give him a good chuckle.  Well, then you’re on to something.

‘Mama Ain’t Happy’  Mama gives a little advice to young Jacques about his recent bean purchase…  and tips the beans out the window!

4.  Lend a hand to someone who needs help.  You’ll see the world from their point of view… and have more to write about.

‘Fee Fi Fo Fum’  One unhappy Cajun giant… about to tip the table in his search for a young adventurer.  More hilarity from children’s writer Mike Artell and illustrator Jim Harris.

5.  Write your ideas down right away.  You never know when creativity will strike.  A beautiful vista, a bizarre event, a joke –  any of these things can inspire the mood or a plot for a story… and you can’t rewind these moments!!!   So if a story idea reports for duty inside your head, grab a pen and jot it down. 

‘Mouse Has Doubts’  Mouse’s advice for young Jacques doesn’t seem to be catching on.  From the latest Cajun fairytale by author Mike Artell and artist Jim Harris.

In conclusion, I’m tempted to repeat tip #1 here in big bold letters, but instead I will just say, it’s your life… don’t use it up watching pretend people live pretend lives. 

Be a writer instead!!!


Link to Jim Harris Children’s Books Home PageE-mail the page ‘Jim Harris Tips for Writers -- Advice for Students on Writing’ to a friend.

Images and Text © 2009 Jim Harris. All Rights Reserved