The development of color vision and of the ability to appreciate color in picturebooks

Mei Ying Boon, Stephen J. Dain

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Picturebooks may be described as sequences of picture–text relations. The pictures are an integral part of the picturebook. Neither the text nor the pictures should stand alone. The exploration of this specific relationship is a fundamental task of picturebook theory (Nodelman 1988; Lewis 2001; Nikolajeva and Scott 2001). There are also textless picturebooks, for instance early-concept books or relatively complex picture narratives. In these cases, the meaning of the single pictures or of the story connected to the sequence of pictures has to be interpreted by the viewer. Quite often, pictures are seen as mere illustrations, and the idea that children have to learn to interpret pictures, just as they have to learn to understand the meaning of texts, is not always appreciated by picturebook theorists. This contribution focuses on one particular property of pictures, namely color. What one finds are considerations of the functions of pictures, often from the perspective of pedagogic or literacy enhancement. Thus, it has been pointed out that pictures may engage children with “reading” (or even “literature”) without being able to be read in the literal sense (Kiefer 1995; Jones 1996; Nikolajeva 2003). There is a division of labor in that the child looks at the pictures while a caregiver reads the text. There are, of course, numerous actions such as pointing or gesturing that accompany this situation of common attention, thus supporting the child’s learning about the specific picture–text relations
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLearning from Picturebooks
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives from Child Development and Literacy Studies
EditorsBettina Kümmerling-Meibauer, Jorg Meibauer, Kerstin Nachtigäller, Katharina J. Rohlfing
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781317961529, 9781315866710
ISBN (Print)9780415720793
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'The development of color vision and of the ability to appreciate color in picturebooks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this