A History in Pictures

Writing and illustrating picture books is hard. To execute it well, you have to have the succinctness of a poet, an understanding about how children see and want to see the world, and an artistic vision. How do you guys do it?

To help me wrap my brain around it, the Atlantic has a very cool article about the history of picture books all over the world. The article is almost a review of Children’s Picturebooks: The Art of Visual Storytelling, by Martin Salisbury and Morag Styles, which sounds fascinating. I especially liked this quote by Maurice Sendak about Randolph Caldecott, who basically invented the picture book as we know it:

“Caldecott’s work heralds the beginning of the modern picture book. He devised an ingenious juxtaposition of picture and word, a counter pint that never happened before. Words are left out — but the picture says it. Pictures are left out — but the words say it. In short, it is the invention of the picture book.”

Make sure to check out the whole article. Lots of great images as well!

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