Picturebooks are composite texts that usually rely for their effects on the interdependence of pictures and words. They are an exciting hybrid form because of the synergy created between the text and images and because of their attractiveness for both child and adult readers. The emergence of the picturebook from other forms of printed matter dates from around the mid-19th century and is connected with developments in printing technology which enabled pictures and text to appear together in new ways on a single page. Since the 1960s this bimodal literary form has developed a variety of ways in which the verbal and the visual combine to construct meaning. In this seminar, we will look at the history and development of the picturebook and, through close reading, ask how picturebooks work. We will examine such aspects as format, layout, verbal and visual narrative, graphic elements and the many possible relationships between the visual and the verbal. We will look at books by acclaimed contemporary U.S., British and Australian picturebook makers such as Maurice Sendak, John Burningham, Janet und Allan Ahlberg, David Wiesner and Shaun Tan, and by non-Anglophones such as Roberto Innocenti or Anno (students’ suggestions of artists/authors are also very welcome). Post-modern picturebooks will be a special focus of attention and we will also address issues such as international coproduction and translation.