Reading Contemporary Picturebooks: Picturing Text

Lewis, David

Published by Routledge
ISBN 10: 0415208866 / ISBN 13: 9780415208864
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Synopsis: Reading Contemporary Picturebooks takes a look at one of the most vibrant branches of children's literature - the modern picturebook. This exciting new book takes a sample of contemporary picturebooks and closely examines the features that make them distinctive and then suggests a way of characterising the 'interanimation' of words and pictures that is the essence of the form. The reasons for the picturebook's vitality and flexibility are also explored and the close bond between the picturebook and its readers is analyzed. Advances in our understanding of how visual images are organized are examined and the book concludes with an attempt to redescribe the picturebook in such a way that pictures, readers and text may be drawn together. Picturing Text will be of interest to students, teachers and researchers interested in reading, children's literature and media studies.

Review: Reading Contemporary Picturebooks is happily more eclectic than a primer. Part social scientist and part literary critic, Lewis approaches his subject through a combination of taxonomical evaluation and meditative analysis, producing an even-handed examination of Emil Award winning British picture books published during the last twenty years...offers much useful information that will be of value to the scholar and student of contemporary picturebooks. Lavishly illustrated with 29 black-and-white plates, Lewis' volume makes a contribution to visual literacy, suggesting the variety of ways in which picture books convey meaning to their readers..
–Philip Nel, Children's Literature Association Quarterly, Spring, 2002, Vol. 27, No.1

In Reading Contemporary Picturebooks: Picturing Text, David Lewis studies the similarities and differences between picture books as a way of understanding how picture books work first as a verbal text, then visual, and finally as a process. By considering the responses of children and adults and by looking at picture books created from a postmodern sensibility (e.g., Macaulay's Black and White), Lewis sees the picture book itself as a form of artistic expression that alters constantly and endlessly.Lewis so ably defines this postmodern critical terms (metafiction, fragmentation, indeterminacy) that even the novice feels comfortable. And the appendices alone - on developments in printing technology and Kress and Leeuwen's Grammar of Visual Design - are worth reading for any student of the picture book..
–The Horn Book Magazine, May/June 2002

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Title: Reading Contemporary Picturebooks: Picturing...
Publisher: Routledge
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Lewis, David
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