The Size and Shape of Things

The picture book is one of the graphic arts' most dynamic creative laboratories. Faced with the extreme challenge of communicating with a preliterate—and at times even preverbal—audience, practitioners of this deceptively simple art form have continually reassessed every element of the book's physical makeup and design for its expressive and playful potential.

Be it a book as elephantine as an elephant (The Story of Babar), or as wee and soft to the touch as its elfin protagonists (Little Fur Family), or even one punched through with a hole, tracking its hero's journey (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), concrete experiments like these are a perfect match for early childhood's primary focus on sensory-based learning.

At the dawn of the digital age, they also spotlight one of the picture book's traditional strengths: its capacity not only to convey but also to embody a narrative in a palpably satisfying, perhaps even primal way.

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Kerlan Features

Wanda Gág


Bruno Munari


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The Doll's House

Written and Illustrated by Lothar Meggendorger


Originally Printed 1890

The Slant Book

Written and Illustrated by Peter Newell


Kerlan Features

The Little House

Written and Illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton


A Child's Good Night Book

Written by Margaret Wise Brown

Illustrated by Jean Charlot


Little Fur Family

Written by Margaret Wise Brown

Illustrated by Garth Williams


Crocodile Tears

Written and Illustrated by André François


Little Blue and Little Yellow

Written and Illustrated by Leo Lionni


Inch by Inch

Written and Illustrated by Leo Lionni



Written and Illustrated by Don Freeman


The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Written and Illustrated by Eric Carle


Strega Nona

Written and Illustrated by Tomie DePaola


The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

Written by Jon Scieszka

Illustrated by Lane Smith


The Wheels on the Bus (A Book with Parts that Move)

Written and Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinksy


Let It Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals

Written and Illustrated by Ashley Bryan


Art of the Picture Book
The Size and Shape of Things