Multimodal imagery in picture books for children

Keywords: picture books for children, visual imagery, child-reader, focaliser, point of view


This research focuses on revealing visual means of creating imagery in picture books, addressed to a child-reader. The theory of J. Appleyard has been acknowledged.  It is believed that in early and later childhood children realize themselves as players, heroes, and heroines of the stories. Given that, visual imagery contributes to their reading experience and creates special world, which attracts child-readers. The theory suggested by G. Kress and T, van Leeuwen, supplemented by C. Painter, J. Martin, and L. Unsworth has been developed and amplified. Social distance, proximity, attitude, and contact in picture books for children are created by means of visual devices, i.e. color and saturation, page layout, close up and long-shot depiction. It is assumed that the most prominent means of creating meanings in picture books for children becomes the focaliser’s viewpoint, as in most narratives for children a child or an anthropomorphic character of a child’s age is a focaliser of the events. It is claimed that close-up depiction of images creates a special eye contact with the reader, as well as color decisions become visual means of creating the point of view of the focaliser. Furthermore, full-length pictures become a visual tool of implementation ironic senses. In ironic narrative for children, the incongruity is shaped via visual depiction of the characters, which builds the contrast between conventional understanding of issues and their representation in narratives for children. Proximity and distance of the images implements social and psychological connection, status or misunderstanding between the characters. Special angle of viewing the images serves as a device of revealing the type of the narrator of the story, as oblique and high angle become a tool of narrating a story by an adult narrator.


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How to Cite
Tsapiv, A. (2022). Multimodal imagery in picture books for children. Cognition, Communication, Discourse, (25), 80-88.