Ep 38 Children's picture books

Ep 38: Children’s Picture Books

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

Landscapes in Literature (Children's Picture Books Ep)

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

Chris Haughton

Chris Judge

Niamh Sharkey

Oliver Jeffers

Knights Of (Publishers)


All music by Blue Dot Sessions

For another episode on things kids love check out this episode on dinosaurs

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Got an all-time favourite picture book? Leave a comments below or check out the Words To That Effect Facebook Page or on Instagram too!

HeadStuff (WTTE Ep38 - Children's Picture Books

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Full transcripts will be available soon

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