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RE 3240, RE 3902, and RE 5140 Evaluating Literature for Children: Picture Books

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Picture Books: A Definition

 Picture Books are heavily illustrated works which are short in length and narrative. They are no longer considered a unique genre of children's literature. In picture books, the illustrations are essential to complete understanding and enjoyment of the story, providing clues to setting, plot, characterization, and mood.

Types of picture books include:
- Board books for infants and toddlers
- Alphabet, counting, and other "concept" books
- Wordless books
- Picture storybooks
- Pattern books
- Beginning readers

Questions to Ask When Evaluating Picture Books

Are the illustrations age-appropriate? Are they appropriate to the subject and style of the book's text?

Do the illustrations complement and give clues to the book's setting, plot, mood, and characters?

Is the book's text worthy of the pictures? Would you want to read it more than once?

IMC Librarian

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Margaret Gregor