A framework for an analysis of the codes and conventions of the postmodern picture book
AuthorDryden, Lauralee J.
AdvisorShort, Kathy G.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractFor this study of the children's narrative picture book, comparative content analysis was used on two sets of picture books in order to answer the following research question: "What are the characteristic codes and conventions of the postmodern narrative picture book?" The characteristic codes and conventions of the visual and written texts of a set of ten modern Caldecott picture books, published during each of the five decades between 1940 and 1985, were used as a baseline for a comparison of the codes and conventions of usage of eighteen postmodern picture books, published between 1975 and 2001 and cited as containing postmodern elements in the professional literature. Results of the analyses are described and interpreted in relation to existing literature within the theoretical framework that informed the study. The visual text categories of codes and conventions that were described and analyzed included: (1) the pictorial space; (2) the frame; and, (3) the viewing perspective and location of action within the pictorial space. Major findings for the postmodern picture book's visual text include: the permeability of the picture plane and the picture frame; the introduction of alternate virtual pictorial spaces and white space outside the pictorial space; increasing fragmentation of pictorial space; the unpredictable use of multiple points of view in conjunction with the middle-space, eye-level; and the use of intimate, close-up demand images. The categories of literary codes and conventions that were described and analyzed included: (1) the plot, (2) the narrative voice and point of view, and, (3) intertextuality. The primary circular plot in the written text has proliferated into multiple circular and linear plot structures in various combinations and problematic endings. Various narrator combinations and forms of focalization occur. The postmodern picture book is increasingly dialogic with references to pre-texts, other discourses and the inclusion of elements from the greater cultural context. Implications for authors, illustrators, educators and publishers are discussed and areas for further research are suggested.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading and Culture