What determines the nature and style of the literature and pictures produced for children, and how do children respond? This volume reviews contemporary conceptions of visual texts and explores what will be understood as visual literacy in the future. Drawn from an international conference in Cambridge in 2000, the contributions range from Aboriginal visual narratives to European artists' sketchbooks to children's "classics" such as "Alice in Wonderland", new "classics" and media texts. The enduring appeal of humour is discussed, as manifest in comics, poetry and popular fiction such as the Dr Seuss books. Children's voices are also here, offering sophisticated views of pictorial texts and revealing new possibilities about what reading might come to mean.
Morag Styles is Reader in Children's Literature at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.