Continuing through my back log pile of journals this morning I found the March 2007 (vol. 16, no. 4) issue of Book Links. Another ALA publication, Book Links is unique in that it connects books and curriculum, as well as provides web elements for classroom use and "hands-on-learning" elements for librarians and classroom teachers. Two articles caught my interest and both detail appreciating picture books for not only their artistic value, but also for their literary content.
Illustration as Art - Color by Mary M. Erbach (p. 33) Erbach discusses seven different picture books and the use of color by the illustrators including Lois Ehlert, Marjorie Priceman, and Ed Young. The first in a new featured series of "Illustration as Art" articles, subsequent articles will "cover styles of children's book illustration and aspects of book design, and will help both children and adults gain a greater appreciation for art as they learn to look and look again, taking time to digest and explore this wonderfully varied subject" (Book Links, editor's note, p. 33).
Using Picture Books to Teach Literary Techniques by Shutta Crum (p. 57) Crum offers a "sampling of literary techniques" and corresponding picture book offerings that may be used to successfully illustrate the defined technique. Included are allusion, alliteration, imagery, personification, onomatopoeia, and suspense & foreshadowing. Many of the books Crum recommends will be easily found in most libraries including Margie Palatini's Piggie Pie, Dav Pilkey's Dogzilla, and Jon Scieszka's The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs.
Recently I have been trying to highlight children's literature articles in professional journals for education students. This issue of Book Links is going up on the resource center blog after lunch.