Free course

Exploring books for children: words and pictures

Free statement of participation on completion

Many people have fond memories of the stories they encountered in childhood, perhaps especially of those wonderful picture books and illustrated tales which fired our young imaginations and transported us to magical worlds. To an adult’s eye, some picture books may seem remarkably simple, even oversimplified. However, in this free course, Exploring books for children: words and pictures, you will learn how children’s books use words and pictures together in remarkably sophisticated ways to communicate both to young and older readers, drawing on examples from the classics, such as Beatrix Potter’s Tales of Peter Rabbit, and from contemporary children’s authors such as Anthony Browne, author of Gorilla.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand how images communicate meanings to the readers of children’s books
  • understand the role of cultural knowledge in making sense of images
  • understand how words and pictures can reinforce or contradict one another in a text, with interesting results
  • recognise the work of some famous illustrators for children
  • understand how the use of images in children’s books has changed over time and what it means to create books for the specific audiences of children and their carers.