My OpenLearn Profile
- Personalise your OpenLearn profile
- Save your favourite content
- Get recognition for your learning
Exploring books for children: words and pictures
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.
You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Words and pictures in children’s fiction through the ages
- 2 Making sense of pictures
- 3 Combining words and pictures
- 4 Book design and intended readership
- 5 Illustration
- 6 Illustration as interpretation: the example of Alice
- 7 Analysing images: composition and symbolism
- 8 An authorstrator comments on his craft
- Keep on learning
Create an account to get more
Track your progress
Review and track your learning through your OpenLearn Profile.
Statement of participation
On completetion of a course you will earn a Statement of participation.
Access all course activities
Take course quizzes and access all learning.
Review the course
When you have finished a course leave a review and tell others what you think.
Creative commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence.
However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions and our FAQs.
Full copyright details can be found in the Acknowledgements section of each week.
For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.Have a question?
Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has nearly 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.
Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.
About this free course
8 hours study
Level 2: Intermediate
Become an OU student
Download this course
Free statement of participation on completion of these courses.