How Picturebooks Work

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How Picturebooks Work is an innovative and engaging look at the interplay between text and image in picturebooks. The authors explore picturebooks as a specific medium or genre in literature and culture, one that prepares children for other media of communication, and they argue that picturebooks may be the most influential media of all in the socialization and representation of children. Spanning an international range of children's books, this book examine such favorites as Curious George and Frog and Toad Are Friends, along with the works of authors and illustrators including Maurice Sendak and Tove Jansson, among others. With 116 illustrations, How Picturebooks Work offers the student of children's literature a new methodology, new theories, and a new set of critical tools for examining the picturebook form.

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Editorial Reviews

A welcome addition to the serious study of children's literature and a must for any institution with programs in children's studies.
Children's Literature
This remarkably thorough and sensitive explication of an only recently noticed art form points out that a picture book is a complex pairing "of two levels of communication, the visual and the verbal." The analysis of the relationships between the visual and the verbal narration in picture books is demanding, probably too academic for most teachers and librarians to read through. But this is definitely valuable as a reference, since every facet of the art is examined, from the way children (and some adults) read and re-read a picture book to the functions of covers, endpapers, even bindings. Using many examples from the world's production, with appropriate reproductions (unfortunately only in black-and-white) readers see how time and movement are represented in various ways, how page designs manipulate our sense of perspective, and how emotional content is used to enhance the narrative. The extensive bibliography, from several countries, indicates the broad interest in the subject, while the over 300 "Primary Sources" provide a fine list of picture books to read and appreciate, in this essential resource for all libraries and institutions dealing with picture books. 2001, Garland Publishing, $85.00. Ages Adult. Reviewer: Ken Marantz
A well-illustrated and scholarly look at the interplay between text and images in an international sampling of children's fiction. Nikolajeva (comparative literature, Stockholm U.) and Scott (dean, undergraduate studies, San Diego State U.) carefully define terms and definitions before launching into various aspects of picture books, including characterization, narrative perspective, time and movement, mimesis and modality, figurative language, metafiction, intertext and paratexts. The 116 illustrations are indexed. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415979689
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/1/2006
  • Series: Children's Literature and Culture Series
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Maria Nikolajeva is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at both Stockholm University and Åbo Academy University.
Carole Scott is Professor of English and Former Dean of Undergraduate Studies at San Diego State University. She supervises the Graduate Specialization in Children's Literature at SDSU.

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Table of Contents

Series Editor's Foreword. Acknowledgments. Illustration Acknowledgments. Introduction. 1. Whose book is it? 2. Setting 3. Characterization 4. Narrative Perspective 5. Time and Movement 6. Mimesis and Modality 7. Figurative Language, Metafiction, and Intertext 8. Picturebook Parents Conclusion. Bibliography. Index of Names. Index of Titles. Subject Index

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    This is dumb.

    Kids dont wamt to pay 63 dollars to learn how picture books work.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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