Illustration from the children's book, Tight Times
1. Texture is everything. Texture creates personal connection to the viewer.
2. Misconception: children's book illustration has to look like drawn by kids. Most likely not everyone will appreciate kid-type drawings, children aspire to draw better than they can. It need not always be cartoony (anime/manga) or disney-like (although nothing is wrong with that also) but should always look delightful. Illustration should be easily comprehensible but not too literal, make it open-ended.
3. Lift from quirky but positive childhood experiences.
4. Draw unusual angles or perspectives of a scene.
5. Work on extra details, make up some back, sub stories or subplots not found in the texts.