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Picture Books

Exploring Children's Literature
by

KC Canlas

on 12 January 2014

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Transcript of Picture Books

Exploring Children's Literature
Picture Books & Picture Storybooks: Are They the Same?
Five Reasons Why Children NEED Picture Books
The Language of Picture Books
Themes and Subjects in Picture Books
The Content of Picture Books
Themes and Subjects in Picture Books
Themes and Subjects in Picture Books
Philippine Picture Books
--End--
Thank you for listening.
-Group 1

Picture Books
Norton (1999) explained that “most children’s books are illustrated, but not all illustrated children’s books are picture books” (p. 214).
Picture Books
What makes a picture book distinctive is that it conveys its message through a series of pictures with only a small amount of text (or none at all). The illustrations are as important as – or more important that – the text in conveying the message.
Picture Storybooks
Picture storybooks are picture books with a plot, with the text and illustration equally conveying the story line. “In a picture storybook, pictures must help to tell the story, showing the action and expressions of the characters, the changing settings, and the development of the plot.” (Huck et al. 1997, p. 198)
Several recent changes can be noted in the content of picture books.

As the age range for picture books increases, it becomes imperative to evaluate the appropriateness of the content for the age level of its intended audience.
Evaluating Picture Books
The following questions are meant to help the reader determine the strengths of the book. Not every question is appropriate for every book.
Content
How appropriate is the content of the book for its intended age level?
Are the characters well delineated and developed?
What is the quality of the language of the text?
How is the theme developed through text and illustrations?
Illustrations
In what ways do the illustrations help create the meaning of the text?
How are pictures made an integral part of the text?
Do the illustrations extend the text in any way?
Do they provide clues to the action of the story?
Are the pictures accurate and consistent with the text?
Where the setting calls for it, are the illustrations authentic and detail?
Medium and Style of Illustration
What medium has the illustrator chosen to use? Is it appropriate for the mood of the story?
How has the illustrator used line, shape, and color to extend the meaning of the story?
How would you describe the style of the illustrations? Is the style appropriate for the story?
How has the illustrator created balance in composition?
Format
Does the size of the book seem appropriate to the content?
Is the type design well chosen for the theme and purpose of the book?
What is the quality of the paper?
How durable is the binding?
Brain Development
Dr. Healy (Your Childs’ Growing Mind) also explains that during early childhood, the brain buzzes with extra neurological connections that are trying to establish patterns, cause and effect, and sequences.
Picture books, with their verbal and visual nature, offer this to a child’s growing mind.
Physical Participation
Attention Span
Because of their unique structure, picture books can help a child increase his attention span, going beyond an interesting story (which is common to all genres).
Picture Books are Multi- Sensory
In accepting the Caldecott Award for 1965, Beni Montresor defined a picture book this way:
For me a picture book is a book whose content is expressed through its images… the story told with pictures has a language all its own: the visual language.
May I Bring a Friend?
Quick recap:
Language
Young children (ages two-seven) are at a peak age for learning language.
Dr. Jane Healy (Endangered Minds: Why Children Don't Think and What We Can Do About It) notes that the young child’s brain is ravenous for language stimulation.
They soak up language like a sponge. Because the average picture book only has about 500 words, an author must craft each and every word, sentence and paragraph with care.
Editor Anne Hoppe once said of picture books: “The writer distills; the illustrator expands.”
Picture book writers must distill language to its very essence. This is why the text in a picture book is often rich, evocative, and engaging. Hearing this type of language will enrich a child's language development.
For example, in Bill Martin Jr.’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? a child hears the verbal clue of a rhyming word and sees the visual clue of the upcoming animal to be named on the next page.
This type of pattern and sequencing helps to build the neurological pathways in a child's brain. This kind of patterning within a verbal/visual format is unique to picture books.
Another unique aspect of picture books is the child’s physical participation in the story via the page turn.
The words and illustration allow the child to experience what is happening on any particular page; however, advancing the story—physically turning the page—requires action on his part.
Children’s author Mem Fox says in her book, Reading Magic: "Children’s brains are only 25 percent developed at birth. From that moment, whenever a baby is fed, cuddled, played with, talked to, sung to or read to, the other 75 percent of its brain begins to develop. And the more stimulation the baby has through its senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing, the more rapidly that development will occur.”
While listening to and looking at a picture book, a child sees the pictures, hears the words, touches the pages (or other tactile features, such as touch-and-feel books), and smells the pages (such as scratch-and-sniff books). The only thing a child would not do with a picture book is taste it.
Dr. Maria Montessori advocated that children absorb impressions and knowledge directly from their environment via their senses. Picture books are an important part of the learning process. No other type of books gives young children the opportunity to experience a story on so many sensory levels.
The words of picture books are as important as the illustrations. They can help children develop an early sensitivity to the imaginative use of language and add to their overall experience with the picture book.

Words might be difficult to understand, but children do make sense of the story using both the pictures and the text.
Family Stories
Familiar Everyday Experiences
Appreciating Cultural Diversity
Picture Books about Older People
The Child's World of Nature
Animals as People
Modern Folktales
Humor
Fantasy
The finalists for the 2013 Filipino Readers' Choice Awards (Children's Picture Book Categories)
Best Picture Book at the 2013 Filipino Readers’ Choice
Picture book defined:
A picture book is a book in which the pictures are designed to be an integral part of the text.
The fusion of both pictures and text is essential for the unity of presentation.
Story and illustrations should be so unified that a child may get the “sense” of the story through the pictures alone.
The majority of picture books (excluding unusual formats such as board books or pop- up books) are:

32 pages (counting both sides of the leaves and including all the pages)

48 or 64 pages (longer picture books)
One of the well- known writers of picture books is Dr. Seuss
Some of his works:
Wilfrid Gordon Mcdonald Partridge
Launching of Ako'y Isang Mabuting Pilipino
Full transcript