Middle-grade might be far from picture books, but that doesn't mean our novels lack in art. Illustrations in middle-grade novels, to me, are an unexpected but delightful surprise. Because novels more often than not contain no illustrations at all, finding little bursts of art is like uncovering a loonie in a pile of dimes and nickels. (In case you're American and/or don't know what a loonie is: here you go.)
And here, when I speak of illustrations, I include everything small-scale yet intricate chapter headings to full-page illustrations. This comprehensive article from Publishing Crawl on the design process covers many behind-the-scenes details on the process of choosing an illustrator and decisions on illustrations; it's definitely worth a read.
But on a more simple, reader level, I wanted to share some personal favourites. I adore chapter heading/first page drawings, like the kinds found in Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier:
And take a look at the in-chapter drawings from The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy:
Text + art will always be a winning combination in my opinion. (I could go on and on about typography art... but that'd take an entire other post.) So what do you love most about illustrated middle-grade novels?