Thursday, 9 February 2012

On Making Picture Books

One shelf of our bookcase

I have wondered for a while, if I have a picture book inside me just waiting to come out.
If I was to write and illustrate one myself, what do I need to know?

Making Picture Books by Libby Gleeson has been a very helpful read this week.

Gleeson writes about many aspects of creating picture books; starting, characters, setting, language, structure, all the way through to production. She is open about her own experiences as a writer and brings together views from other writers, and illustrators. There are wonderful quotes from illustrators including Armin Greder, Shaun Tan, and Donna Rawlins. 

For me, this book reinforced that a picture book is not the same as an illustrated story.
In great picture books images contribute to the content, rather than being mere decoration.

I appreciated the example of Armin Greder's illustration for The Princess and the Perfect Dish.
Greder manages to portray the disappointment the character feels. In denying the reader an image of the "exotic dishes from faraway lands" the princesses' dissatisfaction is amplified... to have illustrated the dishes more impressively would have missed the point entirely.

"Why draw a picture when the words already say everything" Armin Greder

Read more about Libby Gleeson here

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