In our quest to learn more about children’s books, the team met on October 14th for a workshop to discuss illustrative techniques in ‘picture books’. Brilliantly chaired by Chetna and Elaine, the study material chosen was an article by Miriam Martinez And Janis M. Harmon titled ‘Picture/Text Relationships: An Investigation of Literary Elements in Picture books’.
Trying to understand the meaning of picture books, some scholars have opined that in a picture book, the illustrations are the main storytellers while some have argued that there is an interplay of pictures and text. So we agreed that in a picture book the text and the picture tells a story as against an illustrated book where the picture is an extension of the story which helps in interpreting the text.
So we further explored the categories of illustrations as defined by Shwarcz.
Symmetry – where the picture moves parallel to the text
Complimentary – picture conveys a different meaning but compliment text
Enhancement – words and picture extend each other’s meaning
Counterpoint – words and pictures tell a different story
Contradiction – words and pictures contradict each other.
The exercise got very interesting when we took about 20 minutes and explored the library to find picture books which could be fine examples of the above categories and discovered many books which we had read before but found them in a new light!
We shared our findings and like little children were thrilled at the treasure of illustrative art we found within the pages of our own books.
We ended by saying that this was the first of our ‘Know your books’ series and we would meet again to learn more to help read in more interesting ways.