Exploring Challenging Picturebooks in Education : International Perspectives on Language and Literature Learning book cover
1st Edition

Exploring Challenging Picturebooks in Education
International Perspectives on Language and Literature Learning

ISBN 9780367856250
Published July 23, 2021 by Routledge
344 Pages 60 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

What should children and students read? This volume explores challenging picturebooks as learning materials in early childhood education, primary and secondary school, and even universities. It addresses a wide range of thematic, cognitive, and aesthetic challenges and educational affordances of picturebooks in various languages and from different countries.

Written by leading and emerging scholars in the field of picturebook studies and literacy research, the book discusses the impact of challenging picturebooks in a comprehensive manner and combines theoretical considerations, picturebook analyses, and empirical studies with children and students. It introduces stimulating picturebooks from all continents and how they are used or may be used in educational settings and contexts. The chapters touch on subjects like reading promotion, second-language acquisition, art education, interdisciplinary learning, empathy development, minority issues, and intercultural competence. Moreover, they consider relevant aspects of the educational environments, such as the inclusion of picturebooks in the curriculum, the significance of school libraries, and the impact of publishers.

Exploring Challenging Picturebooks in Education sheds new light on the multiple dimensions relevant to investigating the impact of picturebooks on learning processes and the development of multimodal literacy competencies. It thus makes a significant contribution to the growing area of picturebook research and will be key reading for educators, researchers, and post-graduate students in the field of literacy studies, children’s literature, and education research.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Challenging Picturebooks in Education

Åse Marie Ommundsen, Gunnar Haaland, and Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer

Part I

Theoretical Perspectives on Challenging Picturebooks in Education

1 Cognitive Challenges of Challenging Picturebooks

Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer and Jörg Meibauer

2 Challenging Picturebooks and Literacy Studies

Jennifer Farrar, Evelyn Arizpe, and Julie McAdam

Part II

Challenging Picturebooks in Early Childhood and Primary Education

3 Interpreting and Mediating a Wordless Picturebook in Pre-primary Early English Language Learning

Sandie Mourão

4 Picturebooks and Aesthetic Literacy in Early Childhood Education

Marnie Campagnaro

5 Cognitively Challenging Picturebooks and the Pleasures of Reading: Explorative Learning from Picturebooks in the Classroom

Åse Marie Ommundsen

6 Picturebooks that Challenge the Young English Language Learner

Janice Bland

7 Gender Diversity in Picturebooks: Challenges of a Taboo Topic in Portuguese Schools

Emanuel Madalena and Ana Margarida Ramos

Part III

Challenging Picturebooks in Secondary and Tertiary Education

8 Intercultural Learning through Peter Sís’ The Wall: Teenagers Reading a Challenging Picturebook

Sissil Lea Heggernes

9 Challenging Picturebooks in the School Library: An Untapped Resource?

Åse Kristine Tveit

10 Exploring a Challenging Picturebook Gospel in the Classroom

Gunnar Haaland, Eivind Karlsson, Anne Kristine Øgreid, and Åse Marie Ommundsen

11 The Challenge of Creativity: Using Picturebook Sequencing for Creative Writing

Björn Sundmark and Cecilia Olsson Jers

Part IV

Global Perspectives Pertaining to Challenging Picturebooks in Education

12 Crossing Boundaries of Age, Culture, and Time with Challenging Picturebooks

Sandra L. Beckett

13 Confronting the Trauma of the Child Evacuee: Picturebooks as Entrances to Visual Literacy

Mia Österlund

14 Challenging the Status Quo with Picturebook and App: A Canadian Case Study

Margaret Mackey

15 Publishing Challenging Picturebooks

Laura Little



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Åse Marie Ommundsen is Professor of Norwegian Literature at the Faculty of Education and International Studies, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway, and Adjunct Professor at Nord University, Norway. She chairs the research project ‘Challenging Picturebooks in Education’.

Gunnar Haaland is Associate Professor of Religion and Ethics at the Faculty of Education and International Studies, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway. He co-chairs the research project ‘Challenging Picturebooks in Education’.

Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer is Professor in the German Department at the University of Tübingen, Germany. She recently edited The Routledge Companion to Picturebooks (Routledge, 2018).


"[The] case studies illuminate professional practice and there are plenty of applicable ideas for how to promote empathy and to use challenging picture books in ways that engage and hold potential for reframing how books and reading might be considered by non traditional readers. An engaging book that offers potential for developing professional practice." - Jake Hope, The School Librarian