This chapter asks, “what stylistic strategies are mobilized to inform children about a subject?” Two Brazilian and two French books are analysed. The categories ‘direct citation’ and ‘allusion to technique’ explain the influence of scientific illustration, while ‘movements of interaction’ points to the relationship between verbal and visual languages. The results provide possibilities for new levels of reading and the association of scientific education with that of artistic education.
This chapter analyses the extent to which a picturebook can be considered a nonfiction product even when its aim is not to provide definitive answers, but rather to question accepted definitions of the world, encouraging the reader to take part in the process of knowing and making sense. The examination of four picturebooks shows that nonfiction can be about learning how to think, more than teaching what to think, and about involving the readers actively in the definition/understanding of reality.
This study starts from two pairs of categories: narrative vs. nonnarrative, and fiction vs. nonfiction. It proceeds to create a semiotic model of the nonnarrative picturebook in analogy with the previously established model of the narrative picturebook founded in the theory of the narrative. Nonnarrative meanings (items of knowledge) are communicated in (both fictional and nonfiction) nonnarrative picturebooks through the verbal-visual relationship of two discourses and their respective voices.
This critical reading of two nonfiction picturebooks about the Statue of Liberty and Cycladic Figurines shows that these books employ both verbal and visual strategies to establish second-order semiotic symbols as per Barthes’ terminology. It observes that the manner in which nonfiction picturebooks communicate information is instrumental in their support of specific ideologies and concludes that the very same strategies that support factual truthfulness also convincingly support ideology.
This chapter argues that picture dictionaries offer a more complex relationship between visual and verbal elements that goes beyond a simple representation of linguistic facts. Comparing the interplay between the visual and verbal across dictionaries, the chapter investigates the presentation of knowledge about gender in monolingual British picture dictionaries from the last 30 years, focusing on prototypes and stereotypes in the context of occupational roles.
The chapter discusses three Swedish nonfiction picturebooks published in Poland: Bajsboken (1997) and Dödenboken (1999) by Pernilla Stalfelt, and Lilla snippaboken (2004) by Dan Höjer and Gunilla Kvarnström. The predominant aims of the study are to investigate the translations and to determine whether the norms of the target culture led to purifications of the iconotexts, and to answer the question of whether the translation of nonfiction picturebooks differs from the translation of fiction picturebooks.
I examine two New Zealand narrative nonfiction picturebooks published to mark the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage. I analyse the layout to show that this clearly indicates who the implied reader or audience of the books are. The aspects of layout analysed include the ratio of paratextual to narrative text given, the colour, detail and space given to illustrations, the relative text size, and linguistic landscape.
This chapter investigates three picturebook biographies about the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. The main aim is to discuss how the biographies describe and adapt the artist’s life story and art through the interplay of text and illustrations. Based on theories of biography, adaptation, and ekphrasis, the study finds that the books’ visual style, motifs and art references influence the factual and aesthetic aspects of the biographies as much as the verbal accounts do.
In this chapter, I examine two biographical picturebooks: A river of words: The story of William Carlos Williams (2008) and Enormous smallness: A story of E.E. Cummings (2013). I try to show how these books both convey information and provide an aesthetic experience that helps readers experience and understand modernist poetry, as well as question traditional understandings of biography and identity.
This chapter presents a study of 60 children’s picturebooks on the topic of farming and the rural environment published over the last four decades. The books were analysed in relation to 12 indicators of content realism and assigned one of three realism ratings. We found that consciously faithful representations of real-life agricultural systems are rare. Nevertheless, if carefully mediated and related to real-world scenarios, this kind of picturebook may enhance children’s awareness of their ties with rural areas.
This chapter will analyse how the wolf is represented in nonfiction picturebooks, especially in series. The study of the verbal and visual artwork will focus on the following issue: How does the reappearance of the real wolf influence its representation in picturebooks? As several Central European countries are affected by the changing of wildlife a comparison of translated wolf biographies will indicate the linguistic and cultural particularities of the construction and validation of knowledge.
The overall objective of this chapter is to explore whether a selected corpus of ABC picturebooks may foster interspecies awareness between humans and other animals. I will discuss how knowledge is organized and communicated both verbally and visually in a corpus of three ABCs about animals typical of Australia. Based on the analysis, I will examine how the reader is offered routes of communication in the selected ABCs and whether these routes are in tune with ideas of interspecies ethics.
This chapter compares five historical picturebooks that deal with energy sources, such as coal, oil, and gas. It is shown that these descriptive picturebooks contain descriptive, explanatory, and even narrative elements. Thus, they aim at engaging children not only with respect to knowledge transmission but also emotionally. A main challenge for authors and readers is the creation of optimal coherence between visual and textual information which is at the heart of the genre.
Today’s editorial output of nonfiction picturebooks about the features of houses has become rather diversified. The works range from creative proposals for infants right up to ingenious picturebooks illustrating house-building techniques or historical developments of architecture. These picturebooks often use hybridized narrative forms. This chapter aims to outline the characteristics of contemporary nonfiction picturebooks about architecture, with a view to proposing a taxonomy for classifying the main narrative solutions.
Based on the analysis of maps in children’s literature, including picturebooks, this text presents a collection of seven city maps distributed by Pato Lógico, as evidence of an alternative and personal geography. The chapter explores how city maps resemble picturebooks in the way that they create, through text, illustrations, and material support, an emerging narrative about a special place,
This chapter analyses nonfiction picturebooks that ease children’s interactions in art museums as they practice meaning-making of the artworks. First, it examines relations between museums and picturebooks to explain art. Second, it gives examples of books offering sensorial, spatial, hands-on and bodily engagements that educate children on art history via guided play. Thus, it presents how nonfiction picturebooks support understanding of art and museums through guided and embodied experience.
This chapter focuses on the literary and artistic analysis of three contemporary Portuguese nonfiction picturebooks: Ir e Vir (2012), ABZZZZ… (2014), and O Que Há? (2012). It aims to identify the specific elements that enable the inclusion of these books in the categories of information books, alphabet books, and game books. One also intends to bring up for discussion the traditional evaluation of nonfiction books based on their educational purposes rather than on their literary quality.
This chapter discusses visual strategies and visual interpretations of information and knowledge in three selected Norwegian nonfiction picturebooks. What role do the illustrations play in conveying facts and information, and how are visual strategies used to communicate knowledge to different possible child readers?
Nina Goga (1969) is Professor of children’s literature at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. Her latest book is Ecocritical perspectives on children’s texts and cultures (2018, co-edited with Lykke Guanio-Uluru, Bjørg Oddrun Hallås & Aslaug Nyrnes).
Sarah Hoem Iversen (1981) is Associate Professor in English language and literature at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. Recent publications include “Organization and presentation of knowledge in children’s picture dictionaries” (Grilli ed., 2020).
Anne-Stefi Teigland (1962) is Associate Professor at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. Her most recent publication is “Performative lesemåter av klassikere” in Sans for danning (2020, edited by Kallestad and Røskeland).