The two primary goals of children’s literature are instruction and delight, as John Locke outlined in Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693). Children’s texts often combine two distinct methods for achieving these goals: visual and verbal. Children learn to read pictures before they learn to read words. Consequently, visual representations often accompany the words in books intended for children, including alphabet books, board books, picture books, easy readers, illustrated books, comics, and graphic novels. While the illustrations in a children’s book sometimes serve as a form of ornamentation, they often help to clarify, enrich, and complicate the text. Visual elements become an integral part of children’s books. They aid the reader to a deeper understanding and appreciation for text. Image and Text brings together a selection of compelling children’s visual texts drawn primarily from the Will Johnson Collection and the Lois Lenski Collection, which are all part of Milner Library’s Special Collections.
This exhibit was curated by members of Jan Susina’s English 470: Children’s Visual Narrative offered during the 2018 Fall semester. The students who worked on this exhibit are: Elizabeth Calero, Dan Freeman, Nina Jang, Laurel Krapivkin, Katy Lewis, Rebecca Lorenzo, Heather Sanford, Sayanti Modal, and Dmitry Sergeev.