Picture Book Critique Ideas and Specific Examples

Book Title



What makes it interesting or boring?


What makes the plot interesting or boring?


What makes the main character interesting or not interesting?


Why do you think the author wrote the book?
Did the author's story achieve the purpose?


Why do you think the art or pictures in the book helped the story or not?


Is there a picture or piece of art in the book that you would hang on your wall?
Why or why not?


How did or didn't the art or pictures in the book make the story more interesting or understandable?


Would you read another book by the author?
Why or why not?


Would you look for another book that was illustrated by the illustrator?
Why or why not?


What kind of people do you think is the target audience? Age, gender, other?


Book Examples

King Bob's New Clothes - illustrations dramatic expreessions on people's faces. Contrast of the color different when in story or outside of story... Pastels or more realistic

The Three Pigs - pigs escape the story and help others characters from other stories Wiesner

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - illustrations bright colorful; Border, balance tree in middle, tree straight and then bend as letter go up tree and then back straight.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear... Colors of animal take up most space, very little white.

The Mixed Up Chameleon - Eric Carle torn paper message to be yourself use of colors to illustrate all the differences as different parts are added...

John Jeremy Coulton - Color when talk about John J C and when talk about the people of the community it was black and white. Good lesson.

Bill and Pete - toothbrush - bird write name William can't so becomes Bill. Comic bookie, rhythm and if something unexpected happens then balance is gone...

Leo the Late Blooomer - good lesson to it Leo couldn't write or read and then one day could. pictures bright, realistic, and book predictable; shape geometric circles in snowman, rectangle... color... many different... contrast number one side and picture on other, border on the entire page.

The Water Hole - Shows hole with hole in page and the hole dries up as go through the book and then rains at the end. Perspective everything going to the water hole..

Alexander and the Horrible no good very bad day - Frustrated because of bad day, Was black and white contrast with shading, value degree of light and dark, lines great variety...

Eve and Smithy - friendship and neighborly give a gift of what had - cap - doesn't have to be expensive. Color each shape is defined by unique color characters were defined by

Trouble with Trolls - take a dog up the mountain and Trolls keep stealing the dog and has to give a piece of clothes to get dog back. Problem solving, Colors of land - earth tones, Jan Brett three different pictures of Trolls hidden on every page - in realistic depictions of fantasy.

Can you .... I Can, Can You - Eric Carle. Vibrant colors depict actions with animals. Children can do the actions that the characters in the book do.

Stella Luna - pictures tell a story without the text. Fantastic illustrations, multicultural message that we can all live together. Text does fit with the illustrations. Form kind of three dimensional, soft colors, unity of independent pictures unite a story.

Robert Sweetland's Notes ©