Monday, October 7, 2013

Looking at Picture Books

1995, possibly first edition, from Highsmith Press
John Warren Stewig
Looking at Picture Books
Original and/or purchase price unknown
Worn paperback with autograph

Although Stewig has some good advice for teachers, children's librarians, and others who are interested in picture books, the text is ironically not well supported by the illustrations, which are often too small to see the details he's describing.  Also, he sometimes discusses books that aren't represented at all in the pictures, so unless you've seen these books, and recently, you won't have a clear idea of what he means.  

I did find the book less dated than I expected, although the section on computer-generated graphics of course is.  And while the recognition of multiculturalism and gender equity is good to see, there's no mention of alternative families, not just gay and lesbian parents (Heather Has Two Mommies was six years old at this point), but even those with unmarried or divorced different-sex parents.

I was pleased with the amount of attention paid to British author-illustrator Anthony Browne, one of my favorites, who went on to become the Children's Laureate from 2009 to 2011.  (No, I don't own any of Browne's books, but I've read at least a half dozen.)

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