The twentieth century

Throughout the last four decades of the twentieth century, a new genre
was emerging as authors and illustrators vaulted over, ducked under, or simply
smashed through the linguistic and visual boundaries generally felt appropriate for
children’s literature. As with any new genre, debates developed over what to call
this postmodern phenomenon: illustrated story? annotated pictures? picture
narrative? image-text? icono text? picture book? picture‐book? picture book?
Picture book is now the favored term because it “signals” not only “symbiotic
variations” that arise when images and text are juxtaposed but also “the synergistic
integration of pictures and words in the book.” In contrast, the others terms,
including picture book, signal “the division, or degrees of separation, between the
pictorial and the verbal within… the book.”