Illustrator Bella Gomez shares her 10 favourite children’s books

Bella Gomez is a UK-based artist and the illustrator of the beautiful new book, 5 Wild Numbers. She grew up on the beautiful Dorset coast in England, moved to London when she was 18 and now lives with her two children in Lewes, just outside of Brighton.  Her journey in design and prints started with her own accessories range, and she now freelances, focusing on her love of colour and form, creating expressive bold prints and artworks for a wide variety of surfaces — from textiles and stationery to branding and murals.

Having two kids (Finley 8, Isla 9) she told us she has relished buying children’s books over the years, lapping up the joy, wonder and conversations they bring. We were so thrilled when Bella agreed to share her ten favourite children’s book with us.  Here they are in no particular order:

1. A Children’s Treasury of Milligan by Spike Milligan
I was brought up on Milligan’s rhyming genius and hysterical observations.
My daughter and I read this to each other loving how the words play and bounce along and giggle at his brilliant absurdness.

2. The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
An endearing and honest story about grief and heartache. Oliver Jeffer’s heartwarming illustrations beautifully capture the expressions and emotions of the girl and her loss.
Oliver Jeffers is one of my favourite author/illustrators. I was hard pushed to not list more of his books. A modern day hero.

3. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
This classic picture book is full of humour, rhyme and colourful illustrations while sharing the important message that everyone is different and that in life you need to be strong and find your own groove.

4. The Journey by Francesca Sanna
A beautiful, moving and very relevant picture book about a family fleeing war and the daunting journey to find safety in foreign lands.
The full-page artwork is sensational, it emotionally drew me in, empathising with the story. Buy and share with everyone.

5. If I could Be by Nik Sharratt and Pippa Goodhart
This book saved many an early rise or car journey.
The quirky illustrations of family portraits, outfits, houses, modes of transports, pastimes…lead to hours of imaginative choices and stories.

6. The Twits by Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake
A gruesome tale of mischief and revenge by the inimitable Roald Dahl depicted perfectly by Quentin Blake’s iconic illustration.

7. Stick Man by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
Julia’s extraordinary imagination is in abundance in this tale of a stick and it’s many uses! Full of wit and clever repetition. I never tire of the countless re-reads.
Again there are plenty of obvious greats from Julia Donaldson.

8. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
A firm favourite for many many years. The limited text carries a charming story of wild adventures, rumpus and that there is no place like home with someone who loves you.
The magical artwork takes you to the heart of Sendak’s imagination. Pure wonder, joy and many monstrous voices every read.

9. Transport by Alain Gree
I love the simplicity, palette and effortless style of Alain Gree’s timeless illustrations. This educational book is such a winner.

10. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
The vivid bold images have stayed with me since my childhood. Love the silly rhyme and of course the entertaining mischief.


What an inspiring list of books — so many personal favourites as well as a couple new-to-me titles.  That’s why I love these book lists! It’s always so fun to discover someone’s absolute favourite books.

Courtney x


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