Art of Visual Storytelling

Children's Picturebooks

Yesterday I literally woke up to the words “visual storytelling” from my radio. My brain revved awake. I was intrigue. What was NPR doing talking about visual storytelling? As I come to find out all this week, on Morning Edition, NPR will be doing segments on children’s picture books! What a treat! I’m always interested in hearing what’s happening in the world of children’s publishing.

The NPR segment yesterday highlighted a new book by an English picture book historian, Martin Salisbury, that discussed the importance of both the text and the image in a 32 page picture book to express the narrative. It was refreshing to hear a non editor/art director say that “it’s quite a challenge to condense a story into just 32 pages while maintaining simplicity and elegance.” Picture books are a challenge to write and illustrate! So much effort goes into the precise text selection and the accompanying illustrations. A book takes a year or more to publish in part because there are so many rounds of edits and sketch revisions until the book is “just right” and appears effortless.

I’ve ordered this new book and am quite eager to sit down and see what picture books Salisbury has pulled as examples of great visual storytelling. More to come!