Unlike modernist poetry or Shakespearean drama, when it comes to children’s picture books, everyone has an opinion. Most of us are exposed to kids’ books in some shape or form and, crucially, 100% of us have been children.
For an academic working with children’s literature, this can have its rewards and its frustrations. “Yes! I love that classic children’s picture book too!” / “Sorry, I don’t know why your child doesn’t like this one particular book”
This week I’m joined by Dr Jane Carroll to chat about children’s picture books. How do text and image work together to create books that can spark wonder and imagination, that young children can completely lose themselves in? What’s happening in children’s fiction today, and what’s the best children’s picture book of all time?
Dr Jane Carroll is Ussher Assistant Professor in Children’s Literature and Co-Director of M.Phil. in Children’s Literature, at Trinity College Dublin.
Here research and teaching interests centre on children’s literature and role of landscape and place in fiction. Before joining the Trinity School of English, she taught with the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature at the University of Roehampton. She has also worked at the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy at the University of Chichester and with the Student Disability Services at TCD.
She has published many articles in the area of children’s literature and is the author of Landscape in Children’s Literature, which you can find out more about here
You can read her full bio here
Works and People Mentioned
Dan Crisp and Lee Wildish: I’m Not Scared
The Pretty Little Pocket Book
Stans Puer Ad Mensam
There’s more about the Pigin of Howth controversy here
Julian Donaldson & Axel Scheffler: The Gruffalo
David McKee: Not Now Bernard
Mo Willems: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
Shirley Hughes: Alfie Gets in First
Katy Watson and Vanda Carter: Space Girl Pukes
Knights Of (Publishers)
All music by Blue Dot Sessions
For another episode on things kids love check out this episode on dinosaurs
If you enjoy the episode and want to find out how to support the show then click here for more information.
Words To That Effect is a member of the Headstuff Podcast Network. Check out a whole host of great Irish podcasts here
Full transcripts will be available soon