What's in the Picture?
Responding to Illustrations in Picture Books
- Janet Evans - Senior Lecturer in Education, Liverpool Hope University
Early Childhood Education | English
`The collection, like the texts it analyzes, is rich and variable and early years educators will have to be selective in the papers they concentrate on, but there are some gems to be found.... It would appear that there are many things in the picture - this is an exciting start!' - TACTYC
Illustrations are one of the most important cueing systems which children can draw on to help them make sense of print. This book covers many issues involved in using picture books: their role in early literacy; in intellectual and emotional development; their use as a learning resource; as an aid to aesthetic development; their use in extending children's thinking; and their role in developing reading skills.
The meanings we attribute to texts are partly determined by the culture in which we have grown up, and by factors such as race, gender and class. A theme of this book is the interaction between what readers bring to a text; their response to a text, and the multi-layers of meaning in the text itself.
What's in the Picture? includes contributions from leading writers in the field, as well as a unique interview with Anthony Browne, creator of Gorilla and other Browne books.
The book is a collection of eleven papers contributed by various authors, including an interview with Anthony Browne, a picturebook author. Their common concern is how young readers make sense of stories presented by visual, and also by verbal strata of various picturebooks. The contributors address higher reading skills, which involve discussion of thematic aspects relevant for the understanding of literary conventions, and they focus on children of various pre-primary and primary age, including those who encounter reading in a new, foreign language, and in a new cultural context.
The book offers excellent insights into the literary reception of narrative picturebooks by children, and it is a very useful resource for students preparing to use picturebooks in education, as well as for those who explore picturebook as a multimodal narrative.