Children Reading Picturebooks : Interpreting visual texts book cover
2nd Edition

Children Reading Picturebooks
Interpreting visual texts

ISBN 9781138014084
Published December 2, 2015 by Routledge
256 Pages

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Book Description

Children Reading Pictures has made a huge impact on teachers, scholars and students all over the world. The original edition of this book described the fascinating range of children's responses to contemporary picturebooks, which proved that they are sophisticated readers of visual texts and are able to make sense of complex images on literal, visual and metaphorical levels. Through this research, the authors found that children are able to understand different viewpoints, analyse moods, messages and emotions, and articulate personal responses to picture books - even when they struggle with the written word.

The study of picturebooks and children’s responses to them has increased dramatically in the 12 years since the first edition was published. Fully revised with a review of the most recent theories and critical work related to picturebooks and meaning-making, this new edition demonstrates how vital visual literacy is to children's understanding and development. The second edition:

  • Includes three new case studies that address social issues, special needs and metafiction
  • Summarises key finding from research with culturally diverse children
  • Draws upon new research on response to digital picturebooks
  • Provides guidelines for those contemplating research on response to picturebooks

This book is essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate students of children’s literature as well as providing important reading for Primary and Early Years teachers, literacy co-ordinators and all those interested in picturebooks.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Reasons for a second edition of Children Reading Pictures   Part 1: The original empirical research on children responding to picturebooks  1.  Research design, methodology and underpinning theory  2. On a walk with Lily and Kitamura: How children link words and pictures along the way  3. A Gorilla with ‘grandpa’s eyes’: How children interpret ironic visual texts – a case study of Zoo  4. - ‘Letting the story out’: Visual encounters with The Tunnel  5.  Putting yourself in the picture: A question of talk  6.  ‘The words to say it’: Young bilingual learners responding to visual texts  7.  Picturebooks and metaliteracy: Children talking about how they read pictures  8.  Thinking aloud: Looking at children drawing in response to picturebooks  Part 2: Theoretical perspectives and new research on children responding to picturebooks  9.  Theories and frameworks: Supporting research on visual literacy  10.  New research on children responding to picturebooks  11. New case studies of children responding to picturebooks  12. Digital picturebooks (Margaret Mackey)  13. Moving forward on response to picturebooks: Implications for research and pedagogy  Bibliography  Appendices  Index

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Evelyn Arizpe is Senior Lecturer at the School of Education, University of Glasgow, UK.

Morag Styles is Emeritus Professor and Fellow of Homerton College, Cambridge. She recently retired from the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education, UK.


"Arizpe (Univ. of Glasgow) and Styles (Univ. of Cambridge) have compiled their second edition on children’s responses to contemporary picture books. This edition reviews the most recent theories related to visual texts by including three new case studies that address social issues, special needs, and metafiction. Twelve years have passed since the first edition, but the critical work of visual literacy has become even more relevant with the impact of digital picture books on today’s young children ... This edition will be appreciated most by undergraduate and postgraduate students of children’s literature, as well as by teachers, reading specialists, and general readers who have a love of picture books."

- D. Pellegrino, University of Scranton