Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Educator in Childhood Social Services (cod. 9083)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the Program the student: knows the basic notions concerning the history, developments and new trends in children's books illustration; knows the main aspects of the picturebook research and theory; knows how to analyse the visual/narrative strategies used in illustration and in picturebooks to convey meaning; knows the role, importance, and potential of the visual code in children's books; knows how to create nets of books for children based on specific narrative and visual themes / styles; knows the most important international authors-illustrators in the field of children's literature and of picturebooks in particular.

Course contents

Hints on the history of children's books illustration, main authors/illustrations, turning points, thematic and stylistic trends in the past and today. The role, importance, potential of the visual code in children's books and especially in picturebooks. The pictorial turn. The illustrator as 'author', as a creator of meaning. How to promote visual literacy. The 'grammar' of the picturebook. Examples and analysis of past and present authors/illustrators and of illustrated books and picturebooks deserving to be known.


Erasmus Students must study the following texts: 

M. Terrusi, Albi illustrati, Carocci.

Chapters 1,2,3,5,6,8 of the volume: S. Barsotti, L. Cantatore (a cura di), Letteratura per l'infanzia. Temi, forme e simboli della contemporaneità, Carocci, 2019.

They also have to present three picturebooks by different illustrators and analyse their visual/narrative strategies during the interview (the exam is oral). 

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures, readings from children's books, projection of images and analysis of specific illustrations, illustrators, picturebooks.

Assessment methods

The exam is an oral discussion around the main concepts, theories, ideas expressed during the lectures and in the theoretic texts, followed by an analysis/interpretation of the narrative/visual strategies employed in three different picturebooks chosen by the student to convey meaning.

Office hours

See the website of Giorgia Grilli


Quality education Gender equality

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.