Original Paper

Children's Literature in Education

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 85-104

First online:

Reading Multimodal Texts: Perceptual, Structural and Ideological Perspectives

  • Frank SerafiniAffiliated withCollege of Teacher Education and Leadership, Arizona State University Email author 

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This article presents a tripartite framework for analyzing multimodal texts. The three analytical perspectives presented include: (1) perceptual, (2) structural, and (3) ideological analytical processes. Using Anthony Browne’s picturebook Piggybook as an example, assertions are made regarding what each analytical perspective brings to the interpretation of multimodal texts and how these perspectives expand readers’ interpretive repertoires. Drawing on diverse fields of inquiry, including semiotics, art theory, visual grammar, communication studies, media literacy, visual literacy and literary theory, the article suggests an expansion of the strategies and analytical perspectives readers being to multimodal texts and visual images. Each perspective is presented as necessary but insufficient in and of itself to provide the necessary foundation for comprehending texts. It is through an expansion of the interpretive strategies and perspectives that readers bring to a multimodal text, focusing on visual, textual, and design elements that readers will become more proficient in their interpretive processes.


Multimodal texts Picturebooks Interpretation Comprehension Visual grammar