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Inside Picture Books


reviewed by Barbara Z. Kiefer 2001

coverTitle: Inside Picture Books
Author(s): Ellen Handler Spitz and Robert Coles
Publisher: Yale University Press, New Haven
ISBN: 0300076029, Pages: 256 , Year: 1999
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A picture book is a unique art object, a combination of image and idea in which words and pictures interact over the course of some thirty two pages to provide the reader with a singular aesthetic experience. Unlike the pictures in an illustrated book where images appear every so often to echo the information provided by the written word, the illustrations in a picture books reinforce, extend, and enhance the written text. In the last hundred years or so picture books have primarily been the province of younger children. However, the picture book as we know it has deep roots and can be traced back at least as far as the types of illuminated manuscripts known as Biblia Pauperam and Bible Moralisée. With the advent of the printing press, picture books began to be directed to an audience of children, first through books such as Johann Amos Comenius’ Orbis Pictus, that were meant to educate rather than entertain. In the early 19th century picture books... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 103 Number 1, 2001, p. 28-29
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10574, Date Accessed: 10/21/2017 5:17:26 PM

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About the Author
  • Barbara Kiefer
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    E-mail Author
    Barbara Z. Kiefer is an Associate Professor of Education in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her scholarly interests include: children's literature, especially the use of picture-book in reading education, reading language arts and literacy education. Selected Publications include: Children's Literature in the Elementary School, 6th Ed. (Brown & Benchmark) and The Potential of Picture-books: From Visual Literacy to Aesthetic Understanding (Prentice Hall).
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