chapter  4
15 Pages

The picturebook as process: making it new

Introduction If we wish to understand the picturebook we need to begin with individual examples. We need to look as clearly as possible at what picturebook makers do and what they produce and only then ask ourselves how we might set about explaining what we find. I argued in Chapters 2 and 3 against the pigeonholing of picturebooks into categories according to how the words and pictures are related or how they appear to interact. The main reason for rejecting this approach is that it does not seem to do justice to the facts. When I look at picturebooks I find in them the most extraordinary displays of creativity and formal invention. What I do not see are examples of symmetry, deviation or counterpoint. I could if I tried, but I know that in doing so I would be distorting and representing rather poorly, if not misrepresenting, how the books appear to me. Any survey of the picturebooks currently available, such as the one carried out in Chapter 1, will reveal that diversity, flexibility and adaptability are cardinal features of the form.