Course Unit Page


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

Quality education Gender equality Reduced inequalities Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student: - knows the main theoretical references and the cultural complexity of the history of the children's illustrations; - knows the intersections between visual and narrative in the production of books and illustrated books, and knows how to orient himself between the different languages and references to the figurative features of the editorial production for childhood; - knows and masters the instruments of pedagogical reflexivity with which childhood literature looks at the illustration; - is aware of the artistic, expressive and communicative potential of the illustrations; - knows the fundamental role of children's editorial production and has interpretative categories to make autonomous and conscious choices; - is able to design and activate paths centered around the drawing that take into account both the specific visual skills and the peculiar interaction with early childhood and, therefore, of the unique relationship between children and figures; - is able to deepen its knowledge about drawing in the history of childhood literature.

Course contents

Illustration and children’s literature

Representation of childhood and illustration

Art and image

Creative research and stereotypes

Illustrated novel, classic and contemporary novels

Picture book, silent book

Childhood, society, education and illustration

Theoretical research and illustration

Artists: G. Dorè, F. Gonin, A. Rackham, E. H. Schepard, B. Potter, C. Chostri, E. Mazzanti, Golia, U. Fontana, M. Sendack, E. Delessert, R. Innocenti, Lo. Mattotti, L. Zwerger, F. Negrin, A. Browne, Shaun Tan, R. Dautremer, H. Oxembury, C. Carrer, D. Sala…


The program includes:

- basic knowledge
- a monograph path chosen by the student

All students must study the following Critical essay :

S. Barsotti, L. Cantatore (a cura di), Letteratura per l'infanzia. Temi, forme e simboli della contemporaneità, Carocci, 2019

 And 2 critical essay chosen among the following ones:

 M. Bernardi, La voce remota. La fiaba, l'infanzia, l'eredità delle storie. Edizioni ETS, 2019; A. Faeti, Guardare le figure. Gli illustratori italiani dei libri per l’infanzia, Edizione Donzelli; A. Faeti, Specchi e riflessi, Edizioni Il Ponte Vecchio; M. Dallari, S. Moriggi, Educare alla bellezza, Ed Erickson; Hamelin, A occhi aperti, Edizione Donzelli; M. Terrusi, Albi illustrati, Ed. Carocci; M. Terrusi, Meraviglie mute, Ed. Carocci.

The student must choose:

three illustrators and one illustrated work for each.

Teacher website: for information on authors, books, pitcyurebooks.

Erasmus student: Critical essay, Milena Bernardi, Letteratura per l'infanzia e alterità. Incanti, disincanti, ambiguità, tracce. FrancoAngeli, Milano, 2016. + collections fairy tales J. W. Grimm, Fiabe, ED. Einaudi

Teaching methods

Lectures. Brainstorming, discussion and debate abaut literature, pitcturebooks, illustrattions, movie, theater, media. Storytelling.

Assessment methods

Oral test. The test will include the books indicated and, in addition, the student will have to prepare a personal reflection about a topic chosen among those treated.


- knowledge learned on discipline; the theoretical and interpretative references concerning children's literature;

- critical and methodological skills;

- interdisciplinary knowledge useful to analyze the children's literature;

- knowledge of educational contexts for early childhood.

Final score based on ../30 (18 is considered the minimum to pass the exam).

Inscription to the exam on Almaesami website.

If rejected at the exam, it is possible to have a second chance.

Teaching tools

Reading aloud, Storytelling, books, picture books, videos, etc

Office hours

See the website of Milena Bernardi