Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Children's picture books have aesthetic, personal, and educational value. The illustrations within picture books may capture the attention of young readers, create a positive attitude toward books and reading, enhance the story, and may assist with comprehension. A majority of the children's picture books published today are illustrated with bright, vibrant colors. Books illustrated in black and white are less common and perhaps less appealing to children. This study investigated three questions. Are there identifiable commonalities within the visual elements in black and white picture book illustrations? Are there commonalities and patterns in the mood, genre, and setting of picture books that have black and white illustrations? Does the way the visual elements are represented in black and white picture book illustrations make these books unappealing to children? The researcher used qualitative, textual analysis with interpretive narrative of the findings. Picture books with black and white illustrations seem to have a stronger appeal to adults, librarians, and teachers than to elementary aged students. Librarians, teachers, authors, and illustrators need to be aware that picture books illustrated in black and white have value and that it may be up to them to ensure that these books are experienced by students. Children should have access to and the freedom to choose picture books with color illustrations and those with black and white illustrations.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Curriculum and Instruction


Division of School Library Studies

First Advisor

Barbara R. Safford


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (iv, 30 pages)



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