Children Book Illustrations

artist illustrator, book, book for children, book for kids, children book, children book illustrator, Irina Sztukowski, Watercolor
I am so glad that I had an opportunity to illustrate a book for children 

Bernard Goes To Music School

It was fun to try the Artist Illustrator hat once again:

I posted many illustrations and stories about their creations on my blog; all of the illustrations are collected in a special
devoted only to books illustrations.

And now, I am happy to announce that the book is not only available on Amazon, but as well it is in several libraries around the U.S.

Grand Rapids, state of Michigan:

Martinez, state of California:
Lake Worth, state of Florida:

Walnut Creek, state of California:

Palm Springs, state of Florida:
It is so wonderful that many people can read this book to their kids and I am proud that my illustrations are in this book! 

Cheers from 

It Is All About Trains

Bernard Goes To Music School, book for kids, children book illustration, Connie Du, ISBN 9781523864751, Kids, play, playing children, toy, toy train, train, trains, Watercolor
Bernard Goes To Music School
I wonder if all the boys in the World like to play with trains?! 
In the book that I’ve recently illustrated, Bernard Goes To Music School, I had to paint trains quite a bit. The trains were not only toy trains. It was the train in the Autumn landscape of Toronto suburbs, and even train made of kids. 
I can imaging all that noise that children will be making when reading this book 😉

I tried to paint each “train” and train unique and interesting. The train above was a simple Lego type train that the boy Bernard had at home.

Next train was more as a model train. Bernard and his friend Nicholas found lots of joy playing with this train in music class.
Don’t trains too make a musical noise?! 

Connie Du new book  model trains
When the kids were playing in the class imitating a train, the last “red caboose”, our shy boy Bernard was missing (I cannot reveal what happened next, but it was quite interesting how he handled the situation later)
Bernard Goes To Music School
When painting Toronto outskirts with the speedy train, my idea was to show all the beauty of the Fall of this beautiful place in Canada. The leaves of all colors with the fast train zipping through was the best presentation of the season and how rapid the changes in the Nature could be:
autumn fall landscape with trains
And what do you think Bernard liked his mommy to read to him?
Yep, the book about Little Red Caboose:
children books illustrations
For those who is reading my blog for the first time, here is a little info on the book:

The book is called Bernard Goes To Music School, written by Connie Du. You can find this book on Amazon. Just type Irina Sztukowski in the search window or copy and insert this link into the browser
The author’s note:
Bernard, a little boy, has gone to music school to start a musical journey that is about to change him profoundly in many ways… Initially he has difficulty singing those strange funny music notes and he often feels shy around people. He and other kids receive music training from Mrs. Tania, a lovable music teacher, who inspires him to sing and love music. He needs to practice countless times before he can overcome his shyness and sing beautifully in class. He learns a lot, has a lot of fun and makes friends in his music class but his achievements wouldn’t be possible without the unfailing love and encouragement from his parents throughout the journey. At the end of this story Bernard is not so shy anymore and he really enjoys being with his friends in music school! Music is a wonderful thing that can work magic on our children. (Connie Du)
ISBN-10: 1523864753
ISBN-13: 9781523864751

Playground – Children Book Illustration

Bernard Goes To Music School, book for kids, children book, Connie Du, illustration, kids book, Playground, Watercolor, watercolour
Bernard Goes To Music School book

When I was a kid, our playground was a small courtyard blocked by two-story buildings. In the middle, there were trees with a table; and, around that mini-park were benches where we kids were sitting and playing. We had to imagine our games ourselves. We ran, we played, we laughed. The only climbing opportunities were the trees; but, the eagle-eyed grandmas that were sitting on the opposite benches of the courtyard would yell at us as soon they saw any climbing attempt. We knew that those grouchy old ladies were evil. They couldn’t climb the trees themselves, and therefore, they would prevent us from doing so! 

Ah, childhood! How wonderful is to get a glimpse of it from my memory. As imaginative kids, without specially built playground we made our own courtyard a ground of fun play.

These days a lot of kids have full equipped playgrounds; but, do they use their imagination? Can they pretend that a tree branch is a mast of a sailboat that brings you far far to the ocean’s unknown? Can today’s kids play with the candy wraps and feel super happy when winning another one from the game partner?

If I pictured my childhood playground, I’d probably focused on the movements and face emotions of the kids there. A little girl would be sending a small paper boat sailing down the pond. A boy would be sitting on the tree branch teasing the other one to hurry and to catch up. A few girls would play with their dolls on the bench. And, two sisters would be conquering a new jump-rope. 

The painting above is the illustration to Bernard Goes To Music School book. 
The playground here is a modern one. Colorful slide with other cool equipment is there. The flowers all over the place and cute benches. Safe wonderful area for kids to play. The boy is daydreaming. He is the one that is a shy person, but we learn from the book that he will overcome his shyness and have many friends in the future. I wanted to picture kids in a far background  preoccupied with their games. And the boy in front is all by himself kind of separated from the crowd. Yet, he is a cool boy in sunglasses; but, who knows maybe at this point his glasses are hiding his sad eyes. But, I promise, the story ends very good. 

More information is in the book by Connie Du on Amazon, HERE
(or, just type Irina Sztukowski (the illustrator) in the search window of the search browser there)
  • ISBN-10: 1523864753
  • ISBN-13: 9781523864751

Time For Work – Time For Walk

art for kids, Bernard Goes To Music School, book, book for kids, children, children room, Connie Du, Irina Sztukowski, read, watercolor illustration
Bernard Goes To Music School children book illustration
In one of these two illustrations that I painted for the book “Bernard Goes To Music School” , I pictured the boy on his walk along the creek. He is curiously watching salmon swimming down the stream. The Fall season is indicated by colors in the trees on the apposite embankment and leaves on the ground. Fall has just started. Little boy loves to explore the Nature. He loves his walk!

But he also helps his parents in the garden. He is a hard worker. In the next illustration, I painted a garden filled with blooming flowers. The house is in the back lit by the morning sun. The boy has just watched his parents working in the garden, and now he is helping them by pulling this huge pipe, arranging the landscape. And, I placed a porcelain decorative Mr Frog right next to the boy as if he helps him too 🙂  

Bernard Goes To Music School book illustration
Paining children book illustrations is fun, and it is a process that needs to be well organized. The artist should not overlook any elements. They are all helping kids to explore the illustration later on, when parents are reading the specific page. The composition of the paintings would help the exploration flow. 

In these two illustrations I tried to play with diagonal composition (The Salmon Creek) where the painting’s energy is “moving” with the stream. And, in “Working Boy” I “locked” the composition on the boy with the pipe by placing tulip flowers on the left of the illustration and the frog to the right of it. 

Bernard Goes To Music School book is now published and available on It is easy to find by clicking HERE or by placing Irina Sztukowski in Amazon search window.

  • ISBN-10: 1523864753
  • ISBN-13: 9781523864751

Bernard Goes To Music School – Book Is Now Published

Bernard Goes To Music School, book for kids, children book, Connie Du, illustrations, illustrator, new book, Watercolor
Connie Du author

The illustration that became a part of the cover page contains the scene from the music lesson. 
A little boy is eagerly listening his teacher Tania playing a new song. 
As an artist I wanted to include flowers and musical notes in the composition as if a song, who knows, can be a Walz Of The Flowers (by Piotr Tchaikovsky). The bond between the teacher and the pupil is also developed through the music and the composition choice: I placed the teacher looking at the boy and the boy is facing the teacher. 
The color choices are Spring like: soft pink, grass green, and fresh mellow yellow. The whole painting is breathing music and a new season. 
                            This new book is now published. 
It is available on Amazon HERE
(or, just type Irina Sztukowski into Amazon search window)
  • ISBN-10: 1523864753
  • ISBN-13: 9781523864751