Although what's even stranger is a handful of my original articles were earning a lot more. (There were five that actually earned more than $200 apiece.) Once I spoke to the company's founder — a kindly man who sounded like my grandfather — and he assured me that it'd all even out in the end. So what else could I do — butkeep on churning out more children's picture book reviews.
Bigfoot Cinderella flees into the woods — and who can blame her? There's a tribe of Bigfoots chanting "Brrrrride! Brrrrride! Brrrrride!" — and it sounds pretty creepy.
Illustrations create a depth of meaning within picture books that are essential to the reading experience for that book. Unfortunately most picture book reviews give only basic information about the illustrations, usually just the medium or technique. Although the medium used by illustrators and the techniques for how they create the art is important, many other visual aspects elements are equally as interesting. The complexity of illustrators’ decisions as they go about their creative processes is fascinating. Some of these decisions are also made by the art directors at the publishing companies. Visual decisions such as the book format, size of the book, font selection, and scale add to meaning making for the reader. Through skillful use of visual elements, such as color, line, space, and perspective, the illustrator engages the emotions of the reader and directs the reader’s attention. Just as important as the written text in establishing authenticity in picture books is a close examination of the illustration style and whether it indicates a particular location of where the story takes place and whether the style and the details in the images are authentic to the culture depicted in the book. Further, the illustrations need to be examined for possible stereotypes or inaccuracies.
Because a well done picture book is an intricate dance between pictures and words, they do not simply mirror each other in content. What is said in the text is not exactly repeated in the pictures. Essential decisions must be made as to what will be presented in the written text and what will be depicted pictorially. Given the essential nature of illustrations to meaning-making in picture books, they should be given as much attention in reviews as is the written text.
Picture Book Review: Author and illustrator Tom Clohosy Cole