The Deceptively Difficult Magic of Children’s Fiction


To most people, children’s books appear simple with their easy storylines and exaggerated artwork on the bare minimum of pages. In his new book, Children’s Picturebooks: The Art of Visual Storytelling, writer Martin Salisbury certainly doesn’t agree.

In adult fiction, it’s very rare for a book to have images. All the storytelling occurs through the text. In picture books however, the text and the illustrations need each other to tell the entire story that grips children – often in a very short space of time.

According to Salisbury, this is the artistry of children’s picture books. In his book, Salisbury looks at the perception of picture books. While they appear simplistic, these books present a challenge that often goes unappreciated. “Making it look simple and elegant is perhaps the hardest thing to do,” says Salisbury.

The book also features interviews with leading illustrators and explores picture books from around the world, allowing readers a look into the concepts and practices which have led to the creation of successful children’s books.

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