The Changing Face of Children’s Picturebooks: An Analysis of Caldecott and Children’s Choice Award Winners in the Digital Age

By Rachel Nolde.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The evolution of text into multi-media has affected not only electronic media, but also more traditional forms of communication such as children’s picturebooks. Because picturebooks in the Digital Age contain many traits common in websites, advertising, movies, etc. these books can be valuable teaching tools to prepare young children for life in our increasingly multi-literate world. This ‘partnership’ between books and digital media warrants examination. Eliza Dresang’s Radical Change Model (1999) provides a ‘critical lens’ for describing these literary-digital connections in terms of changes in format, perspective and boundary. Building on this model, the current study creates and applies content analysis tools to examine these connections from an educational perspective. By analyzing winners of Caldecott and Children’s Choice awards over the past 20 years, the study explores the impact of the Digital Age on award-winning American children’s picturebooks. It reveals the extent to which these changes have been accepted by judges, young and old. By comparing the award-winners selected by children for themselves and those selected by adults for children, the study paints a picture of the digital elements present in each set of award-winners and discusses their implications for the development of the multi-literacy skills required in the 21st century.

Keywords: Literacy, Children’s Literature, Book Awards, Picture Books

International Journal of the Book, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.35-42. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 522.596KB).

Rachel Nolde

PhD Student, Research Assistant, Tutor, Faculty of Education, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Having spent the past 15 years working in primary education in the United States, Australia, Hong Kong and Honduras, Rachel has a keen personal and professional interest in children’s literacy development. She is currently at the University of Sydney where she lectures in international education and behavior management and is completing a PhD entitled, Times of change in literature and literacy: A content analysis of children’s and adults’ choices for ‘picturebook of the year’ awards. Rachel has her Masters Degree in education from the University of Miami and a BA in child psychology and education.


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