Do you have any suggestions for publishers to pursue that would accept both author and illustrator as a package deal?
On his website, Harold Underdown, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books, writes in his articlePicture Book Manuscripts and Illustrations:
Presenting a "package" of this type can be done, but if the writer is unpublished, and the illustrator is unpublished, doing so will reduce the already slim chance that a publisher will be interested...
Writers and illustrators who have already taken this step should consider how strongly they feel that their work must be published together... If a writer and an illustrator have considered this question carefully, and both feel that there are strong reasons why they must present their work together, then of course they may do so.
They should follow the guidance of Uri Shulevitz in his Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children's Books, and prepare a professional-quality dummy, accompanied by a few color copies of finished sample illustrations, to increase their chances. A printed sample, if the material was self-published, is an acceptable alternative. But in this situation author and illustrator should go into the process with their eyes wide open to the simple fact that they may have considerably reduced their chances of getting themselves published.
The key words are slim chance, which means there are instances where publishers consider text/illustration packages, though usually they're by established author/illustrators such as Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, Tomie dePaola and Jan Brett.
The best step for writers who just starting out is to find which publishers accept manuscript/illustration packages by culling through a reputable source of publishers, like the 2010 Children's Writer's & Illustrators Market by Writer's Digest.
Here are a few I found:
Walker & Company in New York notes in its submission guidelines:
Like most publishers, we prefer to match the art to the text. If you do submit illustrations with a manuscript, we may express interest in one but not the other. If you feel the two cannot be considered separately, please tell us in your cover letter.
The submission guidelines for Raven Tree Press, part of Delta Publishing Company in McHenry, IL, publishes bilingual picture books and accepts manuscripts "with or without Illustrations."
Little Tiger Press, which accepts submissions outside its home base in the UK, seems to accept both unsolicited manuscripts and illustrations.
Thanks for the great question, Candida.
And happy writing!