Binder, Christiane Maria

Enjoying, Studying and Using English Picturebooks






The picturebook is a format which combines literary, artistic, technical and commercial expertise. Apparently simple and innocent at first sight, the genre can actually be seen as the most complex kind of children’s literature to date. Two art forms, the literary and the pictorial, interweave to bring about the most astonishing results of intermediality. This interanimation of text and pictures produces an iconotext, a third space. The unique interplay of verbal and visual storytelling offers infinite possibilities of meaning-making.

Over the last few decades the status of the picturebook has undergone radical changes: in the arts, education, language acquisition and foreign language teaching, and academia. From being a rather conventional affair, the picturebook has turned into a sophisticated product. Significant changes in the publishing industry have made the postmodern picturebook much more experimental in thematic, linguistic and artistic terms. Literary theory, likewise, has contributed to much innovation – a better understanding of the need for a new mode of communication with new generations of child readers. So the picturebook is currently one of the most heatedly debated genres.

Dealing with English picturebooks in Germany requires cross-disciplinary and cross-national/intercultural approaches. It takes a background in linguistics, aesthetics, art history and theory, religion, pedagogy, psychology and psychoanalysis, the educational sciences, literary studies, film and media studies, and cultural studies to live up to the challenges of the format. This monograph considers

• the history of children’s literature and children’s literature studies
• childhood studies
• reading research, literacy development and reading pedagogy
• the semiotics of the picturebook: narrative and visual storytelling
• the history, technology and aesthetics of children’s book illustration and graphic design
• issues of multilingualism, multiculturalism and interculturality
• literary didactics: using picturebooks in preschool, in the primary EFL classroom and at university

This book addresses all lovers of picturebooks, but in particular students aiming to improve their analytical, interpretative, intercultural and teaching skills, and teaching staff at preschool, school and university eager to professionalize their practice of using picturebooks.

Contents (PDF)



ISBN 978-3-86821-911-1, 406 S., 10 Abb., kt., € 46,50 (2021)

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