This page contains reference examples for children’s books or other illustrated books, including the following: 

  1. Children’s book with illustrator different than author 
  2. Children’s book with illustrator same as author 
  3. Children’s book, part of a series 
  4. Republished or anniversary edition of a children’s book

References for children's books follow the format for books, but they include the illustrator's name in addition to the author’s name. Both names are included because the author and illustrator of a children’s book work together creatively to tell the story. A children’s book illustrator helps create the entire work.

Although other types of books may include illustrations, these illustrations generally have a different purpose. For example, a young adult novel may include decorative illustrations, but the essence of the book would usually remain without them, meaning the purpose is supportive. Likewise, a textbook may include illustrations such as medical diagrams or photographs, but the purpose is functional. Thus, only the authors, not any illustrators, appear in references for young adult novels or textbooks.

There is no test for whether a book is a “children’s book.” Some cases may be ambiguous. Use your judgment, and follow the examples as needed.

1. Children’s book with illustrator different than author

Crimi, C. (2019). Weird little robots (C. Luyken, Illus.). Candlewick Press. 

Pitman, G. E. (2016). This day in June (K. Litten, Illus.). Magination Press. 

Slater, D. (2017). The antlered ship (T. Fan & E. Fan, Illus.). Beach Lane Books.

  • Parenthetical citations: (Crimi, 2019; Pitman, 2016; Slater, 2017) 
  • Narrative citations: Crimi (2019), Pitman (2016), and Slater (2017)
  • References for children’s books follow the same format as for other authored books. 
  • When an illustrator is prominently credited (i.e., on the cover), include the illustrator’s name after the title, the same as you would the editor of an authored book. Provide the illustrator’s name or names and the abbreviation “Illus.” in parentheses, separated with a comma.

2. Children’s book with illustrator same as author

Beaton, K. (2016). King baby (K. Beaton, Illus.). Arthur A. Levine Books.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Beaton, 2016) 
  • Narrative citation: Beaton (2016)
  • When the author and illustrator are the same, credit that person twice: once as author and once as illustrator.

3. Children’s book, part of a series

O’Connor, J. (2017). Nancy Clancy, late-breaking news! (R. Preiss Glasser, Illus.). HarperCollins Publishers.

  • Parenthetical citation: (O’Connor, 2017) 
  • Narrative citation: O’Connor (2017)
  • Although many children’s books include a number to show their place in a series, do not include this number in the reference unless it is actually part of the title of the book. 
  • Do not include the series title in the reference (in the example, the book is part of the Fancy Nancy series).

4. Republished or anniversary edition of a children’s book

Numeroff, L. J. (2007). If you give a mouse a cookie (F. Bond, Illus.). Laura Geringer Books. (Original work published 1985) 

Sendak, M. (2012). Where the wild things are (M. Sendak, Illus.; 50th anniversary ed.). HarperCollins Publishers. (Original work published 1963)

  • Parenthetical citations: (Numeroff, 1985/2007; Sendak, 1963/2012) 
  • Narrative citations: Numeroff (1985/2007) and Sendak (1963/2012)
  • Classic children’s books have often been republished. When this is the case, include the year of the version you used in the main date element of the reference, and include the original year of publication at the end of the reference in parentheses. 
  • Both years of publication appear in the in-text citation, separated with a slash, the earlier year first. 
  • When the republication is part of an anniversary edition or other special edition, include the edition information in parentheses after the title and before information about the illustrator. Adjust the wording as needed to reflect the information on the work.

Children’s book references follow the same format as book references, which are covered in Section 10.2 of the APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition