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Children's Literature

This is a guide to the study of children's literature at Wayne State University.

What are picture books?

"The phrase "picture book" is commonly used to describe a book, most often written for children, in which the content is conveyed through the use of words and pictures in combination or through pictures alone. A picture book differs from an illustrated book in that the pictures it contains form an essential part of the structure of the book. Due to physical factors in the bookbinding process, picture books are conventionally 32 pages long." - Enoch Pratt Free Library

Picture Book Timeline

Explore the Picturing Books Picture Book Timeline! 

Look through examples of noteworthy picture books and their creators from the 1700s to the twenty-first century. 

Before 1800 - Before 1900 - 1900s - 1910s

1920s - 1930s - 1940s - 1950s 

1960s - 1970s - 1980s - 1990s - 2000s

Books about Picture Books

Picture Books for Older Readers

The Caldecott Award

front and back view of medal

"The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children."

- Association for Library Service to Children

Searching for Picture Books

Pop-Up Books: Spotlight on Robert Sabuda

Wordless Picture Books