ERIC Number: ED458581
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Picture Books: Who Are They For?
One of the questions an author/illustrator of picture books is often asked is: "Who do you write and illustrate for?" This paper asserts that the most successful creations are those produced without too much concern for how they will be received, or by whom. They do not set out to appeal to a predefined audience, they build one for themselves. The paper argues that although picture books are synonymous with children's literature, there is no reason why a 32-page illustrated story cannot have equal appeal for teenagers or adults as for children. Next, what older and younger readers might have in common is addressed. "The Lost Thing" is one work that is a good example of a picture book that manages to work on a number of levels by appealing to the readers' critical imaginations, regardless of whether they are children or adults. It is both simple and complex--depending upon how the reader chooses to understand it, not unlike life in general. In asking questions of the book, the reader is inevitably asking questions about his/her own experience in seeking individual closure. The lost creature is provocative rather than explanatory; readers cannot help but ask questions and consider what kind of metaphor it is. Returning to the question, "Who do you write and illustrate for?"--paper concludes that the ultimate answer is: anyone who reads and looks. At the end of the day, any work of art that finds its own audience, inviting them to make what they will of this or that idea. (NKA)
Descriptors: Audience Awareness, Authors, Childrens Literature, Creative Writing, Imagination, Picture Books, Reader Response, Reader Response
For full text: http://www.cdesign.com.au/aate/aate_papers/132_tan.htm .
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A