Children's Literature in Education

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 225–239

The Dynamics of Picturebook Communication


  • Maria Nikolajeva
    • Stockholm University (
    • Åbo Akademi University (
  • Carole Scott
    • San Diego State University

DOI: 10.1023/A:1026426902123

Cite this article as:
Nikolajeva, M. & Scott, C. Children's Literature in Education (2000) 31: 225. doi:10.1023/A:1026426902123


This article offers new perspectives and theoretical tools to interpret and appreciate the complex relationships that can exist between words and pictures. The spectrum of text/image interaction is laid out and analyzed, and several picturebooks from different countries are explored to uncover a number of intriguing dynamics ranging from the simple to the highly elaborate. Text/image interaction may give rise to significant ambiguity, and the article points to future opportunities for dual audience research in this field. The article offers a taste of Nikolajeva and Scott's How Picturebooks Work (Garland, 2000).

picturebooksillustrationstext/image interactionsemioticsnarrative theory

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2000