chapter  5
18 Pages

The language of words, images and (in)completeness

In developing ideas on the picture book to be read for a child and for the emergent reader, one of the first things we need to analyse is how the picture book works as a textual blend of words and images in a ‘nurturing’ and a ‘making the connections’ process. We tend to think there has never been an age when images have not dominated our lives and that this is particularly so in this advanced age of advertising, television and internet technology. But language is much more complex than simply assuming our world is image-led. Everything in the process contributes to the ‘story’. Of course, as Jack Zipes was to say, this is something we really need to be aware of:

A child born at the beginning of the twenty-first century in America [and I would add, worldwide], no matter what class, color, or gender, has already been bombarded with messages and texts through design, electronics, and print by icons, signs, and sounds that come from adults, clothing, television screens, the radio, the movie screens, toys, games, and books . . . McDonalds has often had special gifts for children emanating from the Disney corporation or designs on their cups to lure children into their parlors.