Picture Book

In a picture book, the images are more important than the text. By contrast, in an "illustrated book," the words primarily carry the story or argument and the pictures merely support them.

A picture book can tell a coherent story with the images alone, though it may not be as complete or specific as the story told with the images and supplemental words together.

Some Questions for Evaluating Picture Books

  1. Do the illustrations tell the same story as the words? What has been added or changed?
  2. Can the words tell the story without the pictures?
  3. Can the pictures tell the story without the words?
  4. What is the style of the art work? How is color used? What do the style and color contribute to mood, description, or storytelling?
  5. What is the physical relationship between the pictures and the printed text? Do they overlap or are they separate?
  6. Are there pages where there are no words? What is the effect? What about pages with no pictures?
  7. What is the tone or mood of the pictures?
  8. Look at the variety of characters (defined by oppositions such as good./bad, friendly/threatening, helpful/obstructive): do they differ physically in size, shape, color, texture, or their relation to the vantage point?
  9. Look at any character who changes (or whom we are supposed to feel differently about a different points in the story): does that character look different physically in size, shape, color, texture, or their relation to our vantage point?

Work Cited

  • more to come

Related Ideas on this Site

  • more to come

See also:

Carolyn Sigler's Links for Teachers

< Back to the Ideas Site home

Please contact me about any broken links or errors, or if you have suggestions for additional links on this page.