BECOMING AN ENLIGHTENED CITIZEN OF THE WORLD WITH DIDIER CORNILLE’S INFORMATION PICTUREBOOKS

Abstract

In the six nonfiction picturebooks produced from 2012, Didier Cornille, a French designer and teacher of arts, wants to offer children a first look at modern architecture and design. He presents challenges of the past by producing iconotexts that suggest solutions and prepare young readers for building, dwelling and thinking spaces, answering future challenges. In this paper, we will show that architecture is not only an artistic concern but also a geographical one, offering some answers to the question of “dwelling”.

Numerous literary theorists have tried to define nonfiction books, as Penny Colman claimed belonging to literature (Colman, 1997). According to Peggy Heeks, “Information books serve as the tools which can help readers to knowledge” (Heeks, 1996: 428). They structure, organize, interpret facts and data and turn them into information presented so that they can be perceived to be meaningful. Margaret Mallett underlines that the main intention of Information books “is to impact knowledge and ideas” (Mallett, 2004: 622). It is “an art form, designed to give pleasure, and enlightenment, to arouse wonder, and to reveal our capacity for self awareness and understanding” (Kiefer, & Wilson, 2011: 291). Contrary to scholarly books, information books aim to entertain, inspire and, above all, amuse. Among the various actual trends, Nikola von Merveldt assures us that Information books are “the most innovative and groundbreaking books for children” (von Merveldt, 2018: 233). She points out the fact that pictures are more and more essential in Information books because “the visual information is as important as the verbal” (Dresang, 2008: 296). Merveldt specifies that contemporary Information books have benefited from the effect of what William Mitchell named the “pictorial turn” (Mitchell, 1995) and which we prefer to call, according to Boehm, the “iconic turn” (Boehm, 1994). Continuer la lecture de « BECOMING AN ENLIGHTENED CITIZEN OF THE WORLD WITH DIDIER CORNILLE’S INFORMATION PICTUREBOOKS »