Children’s Lit 101


 I’ve been taking a very interesting Children’s Literature class. This past week, much to my delight, we focused on picture books. Well, my assignments and required reading got me looking at my favorite children’s books in a little bit of a new light. I have always analyzed the text and the illustrations. Those are the two most important elements in picture books after all. But, we cannot forget about design. Book designers put a lot of effort into making the design-the look-of the book just right. I don’t think most people think often about the layout-the way the text and pictures fit on the page, and the content of the end pages. How many of you think about the type of font used for the text? How about the design of the cover (not just the cover illustration) and the size and shape of the whole book? A lot of thought goes into the creation of picture books. That just makes me appreciate them even more. Another thing we talked about in class, which is something I always knew but never gave much thought, is that picture books encompass all genres. In other words, a picture book can be fantasy, science fiction, mystery, poetry, folklore, a biography, realistic (contemporary or historical) fiction, or even nonfiction. Food for thought, huh? So the next time you pick up a picture book, give a little extra consideration to the design. And also see if you can figure out what genre it fits into-just for fun.  

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