"These books made me really curious". How visual explorations shape the young readers' taste
There are two ways in which a text may be illustrated: an artist can use a literal, descriptive, denotative mode, or a symbolic, implied, connotative mode. In the denotative mode, an artist’s illustrations are a direct and literal imitation of the “text” reality, while in the connotative mode, ideas and concepts are not directly signified but are implied by the associations or meanings that are suggested or evoked. In this latter mode the artist uses metaphors and similes to illustrate a text, thus introducing additional meaning and requiring that readers must draw on previous experiences in order to interpret and draw meaning from the text. This chapter will look at some young readers’ responses to a selection of picturebooks using these two types of illustrative styles. It focuses in particular on Capitan Omicidio (Captain Murderer), a version of Charles Perrault’s Blue Beard written by Charles Dickens and illustrated by Fabian Negrin.