Illustrations In Picture Books

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The term “picturebook” is normally applied to the books that tell the story predominantly through pictures, with a few lines of supporting text. picture and text in picturebook cannot be disentangled without significantly affecting meaning. In some cases, much of narrative is conveyed by images alone. Picture books constitute an art form that has become increasingly sophisticated. Illustrations in picturebooks are providing actual plot or concept information as well as clues to character traits, settings, and moods (Study Guide p 210). Reading good picture books can foster in children acuity of vision and artistic sensitivity that what Mable Segun said:

“Illustrations are literature in their own right, and whether used by themselves or integrated with written texts, they sharpen the perception of children, stimulate their imagination and increase their sense of observation. The overall development of children can be aided by good illustrations”.

In what follows we will start writing about picturebook history, then the effects of text and images in children and finally critic’s opinions of picturebooks.

Children learn to read pictures before they learn to read
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The inability to overcome obstacles is presented in the verbal narrative with objective matter-of-factness and the statement, “Peter began to cry” is offered without irony or attitude, thus drawing the reader closer to Peter’s emotions and plight. The illustration depicts an unclothed Peter standing upright against the door, one foot upon the other with a tear running from his eye. Without his clothes, Peter is only a small, wild animal but his tears, his emotions, and his human posture intensifies the reader’s identification with him. Here, verbal narrative and illustration work in harmony rather than in disharmony. (study guide
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