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Types of Picture Books http://www2.nkfust.edu.tw/~emchen/CLit/Picturebooks.htm

Wordless Picture Books Toy Books Alphabet Books
Counting Books
Concept Books Picture

Wordless Picture Books
1) Characteristics:
Wordless picture books contain only pictures and little or no text.
They depend entirely on carefully sequenced illustrations to present the story.
The illustrations must be highly narrative.
Although wordless picture books are generally aimed at preschoolers (aged 4 to 6), some of
them are also intended for older children because they contain complex plot structures, subtle
imagery, and sophisticated tone.
Counting Books
Most counting books are designed to teach children the concept of counting and recognizing
Many counting books contain virtually no text, just the numbers and the objects to be counted.
Therefore, the most important aspect is that the countable objects be clearly identifiable.
Counting books can also contain stories, cultural information, and rhymes along with counting
Toy Books
Toy books, such as cardboard books, cloth books, pop-up books, include gimmick in addition to
a story.
These books are usually intended for the very youngest children.
Cardboard and cloth books are durable, can be easily washed, and will withstand rough

Pop-up (mechanical, moving) books, a Victorian invention, can be extraordinarily intricate with
dramatic three-dimensional scenes and several moving parts.
They usually contain fewer pages, so the story must be fairly simple.
Plot details and interesting language are usually replaced by moving figures and three-
dimensional scenes.
Pop-up books remain essentially visual art and not literature.

Concept Books
The concept books are written to present factual material through illustrations and accompanying
Concept books can deal with almost any subject. Some of the concepts they present are
opposites, spatial relationships, and sounds.
Concept books are clearly didactic books (they educate but do not preach). A good concept book
conveys its information in a clear and entertaining way.
Somewhere in between the concept book and the picture storybook are those books intended to
teach some concepts often a social concept through a fictional setting and with fictional
For example, they educate young children on the social acceptance of homosexuality but without
relating any factual information on sexuality or sexual preference.

Alphabet Books
Most alphabet books are designed to teach children to recognize the letters and sounds of the
In addition, they also help children associate the shape of a letter with the sound it customarily
makes; that is, they teach children phonics and spelling too.

Most alphabet books juxtapose the letters and the pictures that represent them.
These books are unified by some thematic or artistic concept.
Not all alphabet books have a didactic purpose. Some of them are not intended to teach the
alphabet, but are more sophisticated explorations of the artistic possibilities of alphabet books.

Picture Storybooks
Picture storybooks combine the art of storytelling with the art of illustration. Good picture
storybooks are very complex works dealing with two distinct art forms.
Picture storybooks can be further divided into three types: 1) easy-to-read books, 2)picture
books for older readers, and 3) graphic novels.
1. Easy-to-read picture storybooks are meant to be read aloud to the intended audience of 4- to
7-year-olds. These books are created to help the beginning reader read independently with
success. They have limited text on each page, large print, double spacing, and short sentences.
Language is often controlled, and words are short and familiar.
2. Picture books for older readers are generally more sophisticated, abstract, or complex in
themes, stories, and illustrations. They are suitable for children aged 8 and older. This type of
picture books began to appear in the 1970s, perhaps in response to our increasingly visual modes
of communication.
3. Graphic Novels are long-form comic books, usually with lengthy and complex storylines, and
often aimed at more mature, serious audiences. These novel-length books feature text written in
speech bubbles or as captions in comic books. Graphic novels are popular with middle and high
school students. Reluctant readers especially enjoy having these books as a reading option.
The traditional notion that picture books are only for younger children no longer applies. Today's
teachers use picture books for older readers across the middle school curriculum.