Liz Derouet

Still talking about books

Picturebooks

Picturebooks are amazing creations. While I had always used illustrated books and picturebooks in the classroom, it was not until I became a librarian and studied children’s literature that I fully understood the importance of picturebooks.

There have been many articles and books published about picturebooks, and picture books. There is a difference. I see a picturebook as one where the visual and verbal text work so well together that to have one without the other is impossible. As the late Narelle Oliver once said, ‘you cannot read a picturebook on the radio’. Without the visual text to work with the reading, there is no picturebook.

Picture books, on the other hand, will be referred to on this blog as illustrated books. This is not to say there is anything wrong with these books. My favourite book from my childhood is Tootle by Gertrude Crampton. How idyllic was it for a little train to frolic in the pastures, amongst the flowers? This is more of an illustrated book however, the illustrations, while beautiful, accompany the story. There are many illustrated books that will be favourites of young ones along the way to independent reading.

What I am most interested in is the picturebook. The visual text and the verbal text, usually sparse, depend on each other and work together to form the third text, that is, the picturebook.

There are many things to discover in a picturebook and many devices used by the illustrator to influence the reading and mood of the book. These include, but are not restricted to, picturebook codes and postmodern tendencies.

The documents linked on this page show picturebook codes and postmodern tendencies that I have discovered in some of the picturebooks reviewed on this blog. I hope you find it helpful when choosing books to use in the classroom.

Picturebook Codes and Endpapers
Postmodern Tendencies in Selected Picturebooks

Both of these documents were last updated February 12, 2016, and are currently not being added to.

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