What defines a picture book? This is an issue that had been a source of angst for many years. Does a picture book have to be for emergent readers? Clearly not, as a browse of the Curriculum shelves will indicate. Margaret Wild’s Woolvs in the Sitee, and Let the Celebrations Begin, along with Roberto Innocenti and Ian McEwan’s Rose Blanche challenge the definition of a picture book. They look at complex stories, and open a world which is not purely aimed at the early learner. Likewise, Anthony Browne’s Voices in the Park introduces the reader to an entirely different way of reading.
These pictures are often a challenge to those who have not encountered the range and diversity of textual meaning which can be retrieved through a picture book. Increasingly, students in senior English classes are being asked to become involved in the analysis of a picture book, and are often surprised at the depth of meaning to be found through reading the visual.