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Exploring books for children: words and pictures
Exploring books for children: words and pictures

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4 Book design and intended readership

As you saw in Activity 3, not only do images play an important role in storytelling in children’s books, they are also important in appealing to and addressing particular readers, especially when they are on the front cover. You were probably able to make some guesses about the historical period of a particular book, partly based on your own cultural knowledge about how children, childhood and child readers have been understood differently at different times and in different cultural contexts, and partly based on broader cultural clues. Books for children are also tailored to appeal to children of different age groups, and sometimes of different genders, and again, pictures and the material design of a book play a major role. This is explored further in the activities in this section.