Children's Literature in the Reading Program
Exploring Visual Images in Picture Books
Today, there is so much emphasis placed on text that illustrations in picture books are often overlooked as to their importance in the storytelling process. However, just as skills are taught in the reading of text, this same objective can be applied to reading illustrations to interpret the numerous images that students encounter in books as well as in the world around them. Becoming literate in reading images enhances children's visual literacy and appreciation of picture book art.
This chapter illustrates how teachers and parents can extend children's appreciation and understanding of visual images by being knowledgeable about art elements and physical characteristics of a picture book. Specifically, the chapter examines elements of visual design, characteristics of the design in picture books, and physical aspects of picture books. In addition, the chapter takes the reader through a “walk” through the creation of a picture book so that readers can fully understand the thought processes of illustrators as they create a picture book. Eric Rohmann discusses the artistic process for his most recent book
A Kitten Tale (Rohmann, 2008), which tells the story of four kittens who become concerned about snow and the coldness that comes with it.
Giorgis, C. (2009).
Exploring Visual Images in Picture Books.
In D.A. Wooten, & B.E. Cullinan (Eds.), Children's Literature in the Reading Program (pp. 3-14). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.