chapter  1
Picturebooks as a Crossover Genre
Pages 18

Crossover Picturebooks: A Genre for All Ages is a follow-up to Crossover Fiction: Global and Historical Perspectives, which was published by Routledge in 2009. The earlier book deals generally with the phenomenon of crossover literature, and more specifi cally with novels and short fi ction that cross from child to adult or adult to child audiences, while the present study focuses on picturebooks for all ages. The original intention was to include picturebooks in the fi rst volume, but crossover literature is such an important and largely unexplored cultural phenomenon that a single book was insuffi cient to address all the genres that transcend age boundaries. Although crossover fi ction is now widely recognized as a distinct literary form and marketing category by critics, publishers, booksellers, writers, and readers, the term “crossover” is still often used only to refer to children’s and young adult novels read by adults. Picturebooks have not generally been seen as part of the crossover phenomenon, even though the trend of picturebooks for all ages pre-dated the landmark Harry Potter series. In September 1997, prior to the crossover hype, Judith Rosen published “Breaking the Age Barrier,” one of the rare articles in English-speaking countries to deal not only with young adult fi ction but also with picturebooks. The almost complete lack of attention paid to picturebooks within the discussion of crossover literature in most countries is particularly surprising since, more than any other genre, they can genuinely be books for all ages. This study seeks to address the neglect of a genre that deserves special attention within the widespread and ever expanding global trend of crossover literature.