Children with book around a globe

I participate every Wednesday in the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge at Kid Lit Frenzy.

I’m thrilled that the cover reveal for my new book, Girl Running, is happening today on the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge. Hop on over to Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook to see it! Girl Running will be on bookshelves on February 6, 2018.

The art in Girl Running is collage. There’s a rich history of collage art in picture books, including nonfiction picture books. So today I’ll highlight some wonderful picture book collage artists.

The illustrator for Girl Running is Micha Archer. Her first book, Daniel Finds a Poem, won the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award for a New Illustrator. Her collage–in that book as well as in my book–lovingly creates natural scenes and vivid people. Here are some images from Daniel Finds a Poem:collage art from Daniel Finds a Poem shows boy lying on a riverbank dangling his hand in the water

Collage art from Daniel Finds a Poem shows a boy crouched under a slide looking at an ant.


Collage art from Daniel Finds a Poem shows a boy examining a spiderweb glistening with dew.


I’ve loved watching my own nonfiction story leap to life with Archer’s beautiful collage art. I can’t wait for you to see the beautiful images she made to tell the story of the first woman to run the Boston Marathon!

Steve Jenkins is another c0llage artist who tackles nonficition. How to Swallow a Pig shows how he uses collage art to convey specific scientific information.

Steve Jenkins' collage art from How to Swallow a Pig shows a tailorbird building a nest

Lois Ehlert has written lots of picture books for younger children, some of them, like Planting a Rainbow, with nonfiction content. But I especially adore her autobiography, Scraps, where she explores with her reader how she creates her wonderful collages.

Collage art cover of Lois Ehlert's book Scraps shows a bird perched on a tomato.

It surprises me that collage art works so well with nonfiction content. I would have thought that the fine control that ink or paint gives the artist would have made those the obvious choice for nonfiction, where the illustrations convey content. But in the hands of these amazing collage artists, nonfiction texts spring to life.