picture book is a popular form of illustrated literature—more precisely, a book with comparatively few words and at least one picture on each of its openings—popularized in the 20th century Western world.

The illustrations in picture books use a range of media from oil painting to collage to quilting, but are most commonly watercolor or pencil drawings. Picture books are most often aimed at young children, and while some may have very basic language especially designed to help children develop their reading skills, most are written with vocabulary a child can understand but not necessarily read. For this reason, picture books tend to have two functions in the lives of children: they are first read to young children by adults, and then children read them themselves once they begin to learn to read. Some picture books are also written with older children in mind, developing themes or topics that are appropriate for children even into early adolescence.

The precursors of the modern picture book were illustrated books of poems and short stories produced by English illustrators Randolph CaldecottWalter Crane, and Kate Greenaway in the latter years of the nineteenth century. These had a larger proportion of pictures to words than earlier books, and many of their pictures were in color. The first book with something like the format picture books still retain now was Beatrix Potter‘s The Tale of Peter Rabbit BookIcon.png, first published in 1902. The Caldecott Medal, named for Randolph Caldecott, is given each year by the American Library association to the illustrator of the best illustrated American book of that year.

Source: Children’s Picture Books (Bookshelf) – Gutenberg

Children’s Picture Books (Bookshelf) – Gutenberg
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