chapter  10
Postmodern Picturebook as Artefact: Developing Tools for an Archaeological Dig
Pages 17

In Table 10.1 I have demonstrated how this list of metafi ctive devices can be used to identify the extent to which a picturebook can be defi ned as

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postmodern using The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley (hereafter referred to as Riley) by Colin Thompson and Amy Lissiat. This sophisticated picturebook won the 2006 Australian Picture Book of the Year Award. The book contrasts aspects of the life of an appealing fat, pink rat called Riley with those of ‘people’; for example how people and rats see themselves, what they desire, and how they relate to others of their

kind (see Figure 10.1). The comparison is not kind, concluding that rats, as the saying goes, ‘lead the life of Riley’ (happy and uncomplicated); while people make life very hard for themselves and could learn from rats by being happy with a lot less. The fi nal page of the book, which is the imprint page, has written across the top, slogan-like, “Release your inner Riley.”