The Original Art

Celebrating the Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration

The Original Art is an annual exhibit created to showcase illustrations from the year’s best children’s books published in the United States. For illustrators, it’s a unique opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for the art they create. For editors and art directors, it’s a treasure trove of talent to discover and draw upon. For art students, it’s a means of examining—up close—the work of the best in the field. And for the public, it’s a chance to appreciate the enormous range of creativity in children’s books and to see the printed pages alongside the original paintings, drawings, prints, and collages they represent.

Founded by painter, art director, and artists’ representative Dilys Evans, The Original Art was first exhibited in 1980 at the Master Eagle Gallery in New York City. On display was the work of a wide variety of artists, some well-known and well-loved, some newcomers to the field. Then in 1990, the show found a permanent home at the Museum of Illustration at the Society of Illustrators in New York City.

Books are selected for the show by a jury of outstanding children’s book illustrators, art directors, and editors. The Original Art also honors exceptional children’s book artists in several award categories each year. This year’s Gold Medal is awarded to Felicita Sala for As Night Falls: Creatures That Go Wild After Dark (Penguin Random House /

Random House Studio). Silver Medals are awarded to Marla Frazee for The Great Zapfino (Simon & Schuster / Beach Lane Books) and to Victoria Tentler-Krylov for I'm Gonna Paint: Ralph Fasanella, Artist of the People (Holiday House). Also, in honor of the show’s creator, The Dilys Evans Founder's Award celebrates the year’s most promising new talent whose work has been juried into the show. The 2023 Founder’s Award jury has selected X. Fang for Dim Sum Palace (Tundra Book Group / Tundra Books).

Now honoring forty-three years of extraordinary illustration, the Society continues the celebration at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. This exhibit features forty-eight beautiful pieces from the Society’s 2023 show.

Browse the exhibition on BCBF GALLERIES


Documents and materials


The artists


  • Felicita Sala, As Night Falls: Creatures That Go Wild After Dark, Penguin Random House
  • Marla Frazee, The Great Zapfino, Simon & Schuster
  • Victoria Tentler-Krylov, I’m Gonna Paint: Ralph Fasanella, Artist of the People, Holiday House
  • X. Fang, Dim Sum Palace, Penguin Random House
  • Jed Alexander, Gold, Creston Books
  • Hannes Binder, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Problem, NorthSouth Books
  • Sophie Blackall, If I Was a Horse, Hachette Book Group
  • Alexandra Boiger, Lola’s Heart, Penguin Random House
  • Cozbi A. Cabrera, Chef Edna: Queen of Southern Cooking, Edna Lewis, ABRAMS
  • R. Gregory Christie, Rock, Rosetta, Rock! Roll, Rosetta, Roll!: Presenting Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Godmother of Rock & Roll, HarperCollins Publishers
  • Bryan Collier, We Are Here, Scholastic Inc
  • Diana Ejaita, A Day in the Sun, Penguin Random House
  • Leo Espinosa, Major Taylor: World Cycling Champion, Candlewick Press
  • Rosana Faría, Carla Tabora, Colorful Mondays: A Bookmobile Spreads Hope in Honduras, Eerdmans Publishing
  • Michaela Goade, Remember, Penguin Random House
  • Hayden Goodman, The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music, Penguin Random House
  • Jessie Hartland, Ready, Set, Run!: The Amazing New York City Marathon, Penguin Random House
  • David Hohn, Nana the Great Goes Camping, Penguin Random House
  • Molly Idle, Flora and Friends ABC, Chronicle Books
  • Oliver Jeffers, Begin Again: How We Got Here and Where We Might Go—Our Human Story, So Far. Penguin Random House
  • Mariana Ruiz Johnson, Luna Ranchera, Astra Publishing House
  • Maja Kastelic, Adam and His Tuba, NorthSouth Books
  • Kōdo Kimura, Yukie’s Island: My Family’s World War II Story, Macmillan Publishers
  • Jon Klassen, The Skull, Candlewick Press
  • London Ladd, You So Black, Simon & Schuster
  • Maribel Lechuga, Pepita Meets Bebita, Penguin Random House
  • Marc Majewski, Bridges, ABRAMS
  • Jennifer K. Mann, Maple and Rosemary, Holiday House
  • Deborah Marcero, If You Get Lost, Penguin Random House
  • Barbara McClintock, Tomfoolery: Randolph Caldecott and the Rambunctious Coming of-Age of Children’s Books, Chronicle Books
  • Erika Meza, To the Other Side, HarperCollins Publishers
  • Amy Ignatow, Gwen Millward, Symphony for a Broken Orchestra: How Philadelphia Collected Sounds to Save Music, Walker Books
  • Oge Mora, I’m From, HarperCollins Publishers
  • Julie Paschkis, ZigZag, Enchanted Lion Books
  • Jerome Pumphrey, Jarrett Pumphrey, There Was a Party for Langston: King o’ Letters, Simon & Schuster
  • Raúl the Third, ¡Vamos! Let’s Go Read, HarperCollins Publishers
  • Christian Robinson, Something, Someday, Penguin Random House
  • Cecilia Ruiz, Mr. Fiorello’s Head, Enchanted Lion Books
  • John Sandford, BrindleFox, Hachette Book Group
  • Dan Santat, A First Time for Everything, Macmillan Publishers
  • Charles Santoso, I Will Read to You, Hachette Book Group
  • Júlia Sardà, Moving the Millers’ Minnie Moore Mine Mansion: A True Story, Walker Books
  • Maryam Tahmasebi, Empty and Me: A Tale of Friendship and Loss, Lee & Low Books Inc
  • Maya Tatsukawa, Mole Is Not Alone, Macmillan Publishers
  • Briana Mukodiri Uchendu, We Could Fly, Candlewick Press
  • Chris Van Dusen, Big Truck, Little Island, Candlewick Press


The Original Art Exhibition Tour
8 April, 15.00-15.40
9, 10 April, 11.00-11.40; 15.00-15.40
Delve into the Original Art Exhibition, gaining exclusive insights into the 2023 medal winners and their acclaimed works
Organized by Society of Illustrators
The Illustrators Survival Corner, Hall 30

The Original Art Exhibition Presentation
8 April,13.00-13.50
Organized by Society of Illustrators
The Illustrators Survival Corner - Masterclass Area, Hall LL 30

What Makes an Illustrated Book an International Success - Masterclass with Steven Guarnaccia, Cecilia Ruiz, Felicita Sala, Victoria Tentler-Krylov
10 April, 11.00-11.50
Organized by Society of Illustrators
The Illustrators Survival Corner - Workshop Area, Hall 30

Tomfoolery! Explore how Randolph Caldecott has influenced Pictures Books Past & Present - Workshop with Barbara Mcclintock
10 April, 09:30-11:00
Organized by Society of Illustrators
The Illustrators Survival Corner - Workshop Area, Hall 30