Literary Analysis Of A Picture Book: Olivia By Ian Falconer

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The combination of images and text used in picture books help captivate a reader’s attention to the story as a whole. One picture book that uses the relationship between image and text is Olivia by Ian Falconer. The pictures in the two-page spread above are an excellent representation of this relationship. First, the artwork is composed of gauche and graphite along with a digital reproduction of a Degas painting. The use of these mediums lends themselves to creating a value of light versus dark throughout the spread. On the verso page, the reader sees the use of gradation on the characters and frame. This use of the gray scale in contrast with the flat contour linework give them a three-dimensional quality. Additionally, the reader views the use of simple contour lines that make up the outline of the characters and room. As Bang (2000) states, “diagonal lines give the feeling of movement or tension in the picture” (p.25). For example, the reader sees that Olivia’s mother has her arms stretched out into two diagonal lines. By holding Olivia’s hand and pointing to the picture on the wall the reader can see the importance of the painting. Moreover, Falconer’s characters in the book take on a cartoon feel. As Horning…show more content…
First, the use of understated serif text (Bang, 113), coupled with the minimalistic spread allows the reader to see that the style is consistent in their relationship together. The story of Olivia is a narrative style picture book written in the present tense. Falconer’s writing style gives way to several literary elements. For example, the sentence on the recto page, “What could she be thinking?” gives way to questioning, involving the reader in the critical thinking process. In addition to, sentence predictability such as, “Olivia likes,” and “Olivia looks” this technique is used to guide the reader with simple sentence structure seamlessly throughout the

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