The Picture Book Maker

The art of the children's picture book writer and illustrator

Paperback / softback, 148 pages, 297 mm x 210 mm
1 May 2014
Trentham Books

Price: £24.99

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This is a comprehensive, hands-on guide to writing and illustrating picture books for young children. It presents up-to-date critical scholarship in literacy, visual and textual studies with creative and practical approaches to the task of making a book for young children.

The author draws on her original research into children's views on picture books and her historical and theoretical understanding of visual literacy to provide detailed information about how to create a picture book. Starting with a blank page, she goes through the steps of filling it with a location, peopling it with distinctive and interesting characters and developing plot and sub-plot. What will turn this creation into a book is described in knowledgeable detail: the qualities of various materials, the preferred format and size, the fonts young children like, the endpapers, the placing of the illustrations. Finally, she takes the would-be picture book maker or illustrator through the steps required to present their work most appealingly to a publisher.

The Picture Book Maker is essential reading for lecturers and students on BA and MA Illustration, Creative Writing and Design courses, and will be indispensable to educators and students in primary education who seek insights into the complexities of reading material for the early years audience, be it dual language texts, reading schemes, or the picture books that can widen horizons and imbue in children an enduring love of reading.

  • Karenanne Knight

    Dr Karenanne Knight is a lecturer on the BA Illustration course at Falmouth University. She writes and illustrates children’s picture books and runs her own illustration practice.

CONTENTS: Introduction; 1. The picture book; 2. Characters and characterization; 3. Location, situation and settings; 4. The plot and sub-plot; 5. Fusing text and image; 6. The illustration process; 7. Writing and illustrating for the educational market; 8. Story and transfiguration; 9. Story devices, techniques and editing; 10. Looking at picture storybooks; 11. Approaching a publisher or agent; Bibliography; Index.

Full of brilliant, clear, concise tutorials and advice, this book unpacks the picture book process beautifully. I would have loved to have read this when I was a student. But even as a published author and illustrator this book is worth its weight in gold. A go-to book for anyone wishing to enter the picture book industry, ’The Picture Book Maker’ would be a welcome addition to any illustrator's or author's bookshelf.

Emma Yarlett,

This book delivers a full exposition of narrative development, symbiosis of text and image, visual language and professional practice for the many student illustrators who have ambitions to author stories for young audiences. It must be included in all essential reading lists for both undergraduate and post graduate study of this discipline.

Professor Alan Male,