Q&A: Images in Children’s Books

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Question:

Salamalaikum,

Can you tell me which publishers are creative with their illustrations for children’s stories as there are different opinions about images, I would like to work with a publisher that is creative and applying in the style of their printed books.
Jazakallah.

Can you answer this question? Please post your advice below.


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Amel is an experienced freelance writer, editor, and Arabic to English translator. She started the Muslim Writers Club as a means of sharing useful information about the art (and business) of writing.
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1 Comment

  1. As-salamu Alaykum,

    This is something you should discuss upfront with any agent or publisher you approach.

    When I was the managing editor of Our Rising Star Magazine (a Seattle-area Muslim family magazine that is no longer published), we worked with Sister Amatullah Al-Marwani, an author who did not want any faces to show in the comic strip she was writing for us. We accommodated this request even though the magazine contained other illustrations for children with faces.

    This same author also had some children’s books published with Goodword Books in India. This publisher also worked with Sister Amatullah to make sure that she was comfortable with the illustrations. Sadly, the author is no longer with us (may Allah SWT have mercy on her), but her books included the following titles:

    Sister Amatullah also wrote Star Writers, published by Muslim Writers Publishing in 2006. If you look at the covers for each of these books, you will see that the faces on the characters are not visible. I have listed them here to show the creativity needed to make this work effectively.

    If you take a look at this page, you will see a list of book publishers of interest to Muslim writers. Many of them specialize in Islamic publishing and may be open to any special requests you have regarding images.

    You may find that secular publishers are also interested, especially those who publish multicultural works and emphasize diversity in their guidelines. However, you should be prepared to demonstrate what this would look like and how it can be done. Young children enjoy looking at illustrations in books, and facial expressions are often an important part of the picture-book experience.

    I mentioned Sister Amatullah here, because this was the only experience I have had regarding this issue, but it would be nice to hear other perspectives and experiences as well. I know of many Muslim parents who prefer books and toys without images of faces, so there is definitely a niche-market for it.

    Many of the agents on our list of agents interested in the work of Muslim writers are seeking picture-books, so make sure you look there as well.

    Amel – MWC Admin
    Amel recently posted…RECAP: Is Mainstream Publishing Best for Native Born Muslim Fiction Authors?My Profile

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