Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Looking for Picture Books

There's no easy way to search for picture books in the Dick Smith Library catalog. Searching on the words or phrase "picture book" and limiting the results to type Education book in location Curriculum Collection brings up 46 titles, and not all of those are even picture books as defined in your textbook on page 91:

Picture books are profusely illustrated books in which both words and illustrations contribute to the story's meaning. In a true picture book, the story would be diminished, and in some cases confusing, without the illustrations, and so we say that illustrations in picture books are integral, or essential, to the story. Picture books are written in all genres, they have illustrations on every page or every other page, and, as a general rule, they are thirty-two pages long.

You're really going to have to look at the book and make a judgment call. But here's one tip, at least when you are searching the catalog. Let's say you are looking for picture books about or related to Cinderella. If you do a catalog search like that described above (but substitute "Cinderella" for "picture book"), you'll get a results list with 39 titles. Click on one of the titles. If the book description has the following:

Pages: 1 v. (unpaged) :

chances are good it's a picture book. This designation means that there are no page numbers in the book, which is another frequent characteristic of picture books.

You'll still need to look at the book, however: some unpaged books have lots of text and might not be considered picture books. An example is the biography Kate Shelley: Bound for Legend by Robert Sans Souci, published in 1995. Our catalog record shows "1 v. (unpaged)", and it does have 32 pages. However, when you actually look at the book, there is a lot of text on each page, and it would be better classified as an illustrated book.

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