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Breaking Narrative Bounds: The Use of Multiple Visual Narratives in Caldecott Medal Award Books


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BREAKING NARRATIVE BOUNDS: THE USE OF MULTIPLE VISUAL NAR RATIVES IN CALDECOTT MEDAL AWARD BOOKS By CATHLENA ANNA MARTIN A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2004

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Copyright 2004 by Cathlena Anna Martin

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For Mom and Dad

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First and foremost, I want to thank my family, for without their love and support none of this would be possible: thanks go to Tamara and Phillip for encouraging packages in the mail and surprise Spooky Chicken moments; a thank you goes to my daddy for all the childrens books he purchased during this endeavor and the special version of The Three Little Pigs he wrote; and a thank you goes to my mother, the best research assistant anyone could ask for. I also want to thank Dr. Kenneth Kidd and Dr. John Cech for their academic support. And, I want to thank Irene Moody who first gave me a copy of David Wiesners The Three Pigs. Psalms 18:6,16,18 aptly describes my final acknowledgment of help throughout this thesis process: In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears . He reached down from on high and took hold of me; the Lord was my support. iv

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv ABSTRACT.......................................................................................................................vi BREAKING NARRATIVE BOUNDS...............................................................................1 Introduction...................................................................................................................1 Multiple Narratives: Limitations, Techniques, and Possibilities..................................9 Multiple Visual Narratives: Illustrators Redesigning Space......................................18 Split and Double Narratives: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in Peoples Ears...............19 Quadruple Sylleptic Narratives: Black and White..............................................26 Postmodern Multiple Narratives: The Three Pigs...............................................28 Conclusion..................................................................................................................44 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................46 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................48 v

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Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts BREAKING NARRATIVE BOUNDS: THE USE OF MULTIPLE VISUAL NARRATIVES IN CALDECOTT MEDAL AWARD BOOKS By Cathlena Anna Martin May 2004 Chair: John Cech Major Department: English Most picture books follow a conventional, continuous narrative pattern presenting one strand of a tale in linear sequence with pictures illustrating the written text. A handful of picture books deviate from the traditional narrative style to produce visually engaging multiple narratives. Multiple narratives can be, as Maria Nikolajeva describes, either counterpointing with two or more mutually dependent narratives, or sylleptic with narratives independent of each other. Picture book multiple narratives allow a child reader to tune out the everyday noise and concentrate on the frozen narratives on the page, spending as much time as she is able to negotiate the text. This creates an environment for the child to go at her own pace negotiating between the narratives. This thesis argues that multiple visual narratives, whether counterpoint or sylleptic, require more advanced analysis from readers than continuous narrative style, encourage creativity by breaking traditional conventions, and when used in conjunction with a folk or fairy tale revision, amplify the retellings multi-leveled nature by building on cultural vi

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knowledge. Also, multiple narratives in picture book form allow the child to freeze the narratives and analyze them strand by strand, learning to integrate and process these multiple narratives, thus learning a multi-tasking lesson that will be applicable for the rest of the childs life. Allocation of space into picture books using multiple visual narratives may not be mainstream yet as it is with television and film, but several award winning texts have already successfully experimented with this technique. Specifically, this visual exploration predominates among illustrators who have won multiple Caldecott Medals for retellings, including Leo and Diane Dillon, Marcia Brown, and David Wiesner. Primarily, Dillons Why Mosquitoes Buzz in Peoples Ears (1976) and Wiesners The Three Pigs (2002) represent the top Caldecott retellings presented via a counterpointing multiple narratives technique. However, I also explore one exception that illustrates a sylleptic quadruple narrativethe 1991 Caldecott Medal winner, Black and White by David Macaulay. The crux of my analysis will focus on the newest Caldecott winning multiple narratives text, The Three Pigs, because of its diverse use of multiple narratives to retell the traditional version of The Three Little Pigs and its visual distinctiveness in diverging from the primary narrative into other narrative possibilities. However, all of these texts illustrate basic functions and artistic designs of multiple narratives, challenge readers with cognitive puzzles and create something visually new and stimulating the Caldecott committees saw worthy to award. vii

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BREAKING NARRATIVE BOUNDS Introduction The twenty-first century has become a technologically advanced era of multi-tasking, a term first associated with a computer processing multiple independent jobs simultaneously. While this was once an expression limited for computers, neither adults nor children can escape multi-tasking, nor can they escape the barrage of visual stimulation in everyday life. It is reasonable to assume that in our culture children from even a preverbal age navigate multiple stimuli, particularly visual stimuli. A mother sits in the kitchen paying bills electronically on her laptop, baking cookies in the oven, and cutting out a craft project for her son. Meanwhile her son watches cartoons on the kitchen television, listens to a childrens CD playing from his mothers laptop, plays with his dog, and helps paste the craft cutouts onto a poster board. While this may not represent every home in American, the one constant factor among Americans is that we live in a fast-paced society where sensory stimuli from visual narratives bombard us daily. Life is not a sequential storybook where only one event takes place at a time. Film and television, particularly sitcoms, have capitalized on the up-tempo, multi-faceted slice of life by having multiple subplots and narratives intertwine. Children learn to process and make sense of multiple narratives from a very early age. Even Sesame Street, that standard of childrens television, jumps from activity to activity in order to keep the 1

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2 childs attention. However, one visual medium is beginning to use multiple narrativespicture books. Most picture books follow a conventional, continuous narrative pattern presenting one strand of a tale in linear sequence with pictures illustrating the written text. A handful of picture books deviate from the traditional narrative style to produce visually engaging multiple narratives. Multiple narratives can be, as Maria Nikolajeva and Carole Scott describe, either counterpointing, with two or more mutually dependent narratives, or sylleptic with narratives independent of each other (12). The similarity between the definition of multi-tasking and multiple narratives cannot be ignored. Both denote a variety of activity happening at once that the user must process. Picture book multiple narratives allow a child reader to tune out the everyday noise and concentrate on the narratives frozen on the page, spending as much time as he or she is able to negotiate the text. This creates an environment for the child to go at his or her own pace to negotiate between the narratives. This thesis argues that multiple visual narratives, whether counterpoint or sylleptic, require more advanced analysis from readers than continuous narrative style, encourage creativity by breaking traditional conventions, and when used in conjunction with a folk or fairy tale revision, amplify the retellings multi-leveled nature by amplifying cultural knowledge. Also, multiple narratives in picture book form allow the child to gaze at the narratives and analyze them strand by strand, thus learning to integrate and process these multiple narratives. As postmodernism becomes even more mainstream and even approaches being pass, there will be a growing number of picture books that use multiple narrative techniques, thus reducing the uniqueness of this visual experimentation but increasing the

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3 need for critical analysis that can maneuver print multiple narratives. At least, this is how the current trend logically concludes if one looks chronologically at Caldecott Medal Award picture books as a control group. The picture books of the 1970s begin to subtly try multiple narrative techniques, but it is not until the 1990s and later that one sees whole picture books incorporating visually experimental multiple narrative techniques, not on a spread-by-spread basis, but as the foundation for the storyline and picture book as a whole. Multiple visual narratives will cease to be ground breaking and exploratory in picture books as they become an excepted norm, just as continuous narrative is currently. Picture books will have finally caught up with how people experience everyday life, popular culture and the visual media of television and film by producing not just one story line for the reader/viewer to follow but multiple narratives to analyze. For this reason, picture books with multiple narratives need to be included in academic discussions of how picture books work and in public spheres such as libraries so that parents, teachers, and librarians can aid a child reader through the format, thus learning how to traverse the pages space and hopefully read more thoroughly the multiple narratives of daily life. Allocation of space into multiple visual narratives may not be mainstream yet as it is with television and film, but several award winning texts have already successfully experimented with this technique. Specifically, this visual exploration predominates among illustrators who have won multiple Caldecott Medals for retellings, including Leo and Diane Dillon, Marcia Brown, and David Wiesner. 1 Primarily, Dillons Why Mosquitoes Buzz in Peoples Ears (1976) and Wiesners The Three Pigs (2002) represent 1 Nonny Hogrogian has also won two Caldecott awards for folktales, but prefers a continuous narrative style.

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4 the top Caldecott retellings presented via a counterpointing multiple narratives technique. However, I also explore one exception that illustrates a sylleptic quadruple narrativethe 1991 Caldecott Medal winner, Black and White by David Macaulay. The crux of my analysis will focus on the newest Caldecott winning multiple narratives text, The Three Pigs, because of its diverse use of multiple narratives to retell the traditional version of The Three Little Pigs and its visual distinctiveness in diverging from the primary narrative into other narrative possibilities. However, all of these texts illustrate basic functions and artistic designs of multiple narratives, challenge readers with cognitive puzzles, and create something visually new and stimulating the Caldecott committees saw worthy to award. Multiple narratives differ from continuous narrative by adding a second scene or episode to the initial pre-text storyline. Both multiple narrative types can be stylistically structured within a double narrative or a split narrative framework, but on rare occasion can also take the organization of a quadruple narrative. 2 A double narrative 3 contains two distinct scenes of character and/or setting within a field of action (the page), whereas a split narrative includes two different episodes within the same setting and field of action. Agreed, all picture books are multiple narratives because of the distinction between the textual narrative and the picture narrative. However, as both Nikolajeva and Perry Nodelman maintain, to read a picture book with both verbal and visual narratives 2 While triplet narratives are a possibility, I am not aware of a Caldecott winning picture book that uses one. 3 The term double narrative should not be confused with Barbara Herrnstein Smiths discussion of the two-leveled model of narrative, which she explores in Narrative Versions, Narrative Theories. Her two major senses of narrative versions that is, as retellings of other narratives and as accounts told from a particular or partial perspective focus on research of one story in multiple versions. She specifically uses Cinderella as an example that has been retold numerous times (211, 227).

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5 effectively, they should be read together for maximum comprehension. Therefore, for my argument I will not split text and picture, or what W.J.T. Mitchell calls the imagetext, into separate narratives, but instead, proceed with the multiple narratives definition established in the introductory paragraph with text and image creating one complete narrative. Text and image become inseparable from the narrative strand of the picture book as a whole. While this study focuses on the limited multiple narrative examples within the picture book genre, the most common picture books are symmetrical or complementary, meaning the relationship between text and image is redundant or fills in each others gaps (Nikolajeva & Scott 14). Both relationships usually create a continuous narrative within a given picture book. While some picture books create captivating and experimental tales with these relationships, this thesis focuses on the visual experimentation multiple narratives perform. Illustrators like Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak and Chris Van Allsburg were and are experimental, each contributing a unique style to the field of childrens literature and producing radical picture books that are now mile stones and classics for children. However, for this essay, I address the patience and aptitude for assimilating more than one narrative, while juggling both pictures and text, which gives a distinctive manner to multiple narratives. Multiple narratives require more advanced analysis and attention from readers because of their multi-layered storyline in addition to the interplay of text and image. Multiple narratives not only require more attention, but also necessitate more time in reading. Upon reading a text for the second time, which children inevitably do with a good book, multiple narrative picture books tend to reveal more previously unnoticed

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6 detail or silent characters than continuous narratives reveal. Usually, a continuous narrative does not divide the readers attention up into as many components for synthesis; it usually retains a cohesive story of complementing picture and text. Some illustrators, particularly ones that use a comic book panel style, do divide the page up into smaller chunks, but the overwhelming number of picture books separates text from a singular picture. However, for reading both continuous and multiple narratives, a reader must have a learned fundamental proficiency to read imagetext before they can comprehend a picture book. Picture book readers comprehend new material in light of old material already presented by not only rotating back and forth from picture to text and back to picture on a single page, but also through a continuous process of turning the page to assimilate the new page with the previous ones. Picture book readers must balance and incorporate both the written text and the visual illustrations, into a complete reading. The negotiation between image and text creates a constant ping back and forth to integrate both into one rational narrative read by visual literacy. By adding a second, third, or fourth narrative possibility, the narrative juggling act becomes exceptionally difficult if all narratives are presented simultaneously on a one or two-page spread, as they are in Black and White. However, if the second narrative distinctly pulls away visually and departs from the first narrative, as in The Three Pigs and Blair Lents illustrations in The Funny Little Woman, then the spatial distance helps the reader follow both narratives conjointly without them competing for the readers attention. Also, the readers ability to comprehend the narratives increases if the reader is familiar with the opening narrative. For example, The

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7 Three Pigs original narrative retells the traditional story of The Three Little Pigs, a story almost every American reader knows. Reading multiple narratives successfully can increase the enjoyment level from a text: a major source of pleasure in picture books is the joy of discovering a meaningful aspect of visual information (Nodelman 20). Visual information in picture books adds enjoyment to the reading experience while teaching subtle forms of visual literacy a child may receive through television and film, but may not necessarily know how to comprehend or analyze. As narrative complexity escalates, the illustrator has expanded boundaries to create new and original works. In turn these highly creative works are passed to the reader to process. Multiple narratives increase the audiences reading level complexity and visual stimulation as a result of the artists intricate narrative arrangement. Multiple narrative techniques, whether split, double or quadruple, intensify the artistic/creative difficulty of composition. By adding a second layer of meaning to the visual narrative, the artist goes a step beyond continuous narrative to create a multi-leveled sequence of events capturing the readers interest and making them linger on the page to pour over the illustrations. Visual details, particularly ones that break from the traditional continuous narrative style of most picture books, encourage more audience participation by compelling the reader to read not only the text, but also the accompanying visuals in an attempt to synthesize the multiple parts into a coherent whole. Later in the essay we will look at specific illustrators, analyzing their visual complexity through multiple narratives. Multiple narratives can be potent when illustrating a retelling or a revision of a traditional story that the general public knows, like folk and fairy tales. The audiences

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8 foreknowledge of the base narrative helps allow illustrators the ability to visually experiment by branching off of the traditional tale in unique directions. Also, parents and teachers are more accepting of texts that have won awards, specifically the Caldecott Award for picture books. Thus, the union of a traditional tale retold with original multiple narrative illustrations merges for a winning combination with recognition from the Caldecott committees. While retellings seem well suited for experimentation through dual narratives, any text can also use this technique; retellings are just exceptionally compatible because of their place in cultural knowledge. Every text analyzed in this essay will be a Caldecott winning folk or fairy tale retelling, except for one. Macaulays Black and White creates an alternative for how retellings generally incorporate multiple narratives. While retellings give the audience foreknowledge to ground them, Black and White bewilders and unsettles its reader by creating multiple interpretations for exactly how the story can be read, thus making the audience actively participate to negotiate the narrative space with increased opportunities of interpretation. Yet, even with its level of narrative difficulty, or perhaps because of its difficulty, the 1991 Caldecott committee saw something unique and distinguished in the illustrations and the text. Framing this thesis within the context of the Caldecott Medal gives legitimacy and authority to the texts discussed. Without the label of distinction that the Caldecott Medal implies, my argument would weaken because the texts would not have the approval of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), which holds responsibility for awarding the Medal, giving selected texts credence and clout.

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9 My research blends artistic techniques with reader response to formulate the benefits of multiple narratives within picture books. I posit that multiple narratives, still scarce in number even though they have been used in Caldecott winners since the mid 70s, possess characteristics that creative illustrators can use to increase reader enjoyment, time, and level of analysis. When multiple narratives are used in conjunction with retellings, it makes it easier for the reader to navigate through a traditional pre-text. However, multiple narratives, particularly in sylleptic picture books, can unsettle the reader by creating difficult puzzles for the reader to negotiate. This paper analyzes the visual trend of multiple narratives in texts that both exemplify this technique and have also won the Caldecott Medal. Multiple Narratives: Limitations, Techniques, and Possibilities Critic Joseph Schwarcz in Ways of the Illustrator: Visual Communication in Childrens Literature, defines continuous narrative the same as Lyn Lacys split narrative: the protagonist of the story being illustrated (or any other figure) appears two or more times at different places in one and the same picture, while the background and the other elements of the picture remain more or less unchanged (24). Rebecca Lukens in A Critical Handbook of Childrens Literature also defines continuous narrative as the technique in which action is depicted through the repeated picturing of the character in different places or motions all within the same illustration (42). However, since neither Schwarcz nor Lukens discuss other visual narrative possibilities, I am going to defer to Lacy since she elaborates with other narrative possibilities. This is just one example of terminology dissonance within the discussion of childrens picture books and illustration. Yet, at least Schwarcz and Lacy discuss multiple narrative possibilities even if they use differing terminology. Nodelman, even through his subtitle specifies The Narrative Art

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10 of Childrens Picture Books, does not address multiple narratives past the merging of image and text. Scholarly discussion of illustrations and narrative in childrens picture books lacks a conversation about multiple narratives, creating a void within the overall discussion of picture books. Schwarcz considers the following questions, in what ways does the illustration, an aesthetic configuration created for children, express its contents and meanings? How do its elements combine and its structures operate so as to carry the messages to which we are asked to relate? (4). These questions set up the ideal forum for a discussion on multiple narratives, but he neglects to proceed past continuous narrative style in his terminology, while referring to illustrations and instances that break with continuous narrative to form multiple narratives. Schwarcz does briefly address counterpointing, but only as a method for text and illustration to function together, not necessarily through a larger narrative structure (17). However, Lacy in Art and Design in Childrens Picture Books: An Analysis of Caldecott Award-Winning Illustrations defines several techniques of multiple narratives, including split and double narrative. Additionally, in How Picturebooks Work, Maria Nikolejeva and Carole Scott mention and even name multiple narratives, yet they disregard sylleptic narratives except for one or two passing references. Thankfully, they sufficiently discuss counterpointing narratives giving future scholars and critics at least a vocabulary to work from, a typology they acknowledge as problematic. The problem may arise because of inconsistent usage and multiple terminology sources from semiotics and narratology. Nonetheless, even if scholars do not yet have the exact terminology

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11 with which to discuss multiple narratives, illustrators continue to create picture books using this technique. Illustrators use several artistic and stylistic techniques in conjunction with multiple narratives to amplify a picture books visual effect. Artists can employ a variety of techniques to develop multiple narratives, including: crypthesthesia, which hides images within other images; reflection, which mirrors images to offer ambiguity of interpretation; montage, the juxtaposition of interconnected plots, images, or ideas; and metamorphosis, the transformation of a figure in stages within a single setting. Within picture books, these artistic techniques occur within a single field of action, relying on the multiplicity of images or the twofold purpose of a repeated single image to create a dual narrative. Narrative fusion between multiple narratives happens within the field of action in the text, which for picture books consist of the physical page, and in the readers mind as they interpret the narrative strands. Yet, some illustrators, like Wiesner, try to visually break the page boundary in innovative ways to enhance their narratives. In Words About Pictures, Nodelman explains that the reader must possess a basic learned competence to read visual narrative and interpret the pictures with any accompanying text (11). Even simplistic picture books targeted toward babies imply a surprisingly sophisticated reader and viewer because of the codes, conventions, assumptions, and interpretive strategies one must apply to read these texts (35). Interpretive strategies require negotiation between text and image a constant cycle of thesis, antithesis, synthesis back and forth between words and pictures, each presenting narrative information. Nodelman writes, picture books that tell stories force viewers to search the pictures for information that might add to or change the meaning of the

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12 accompanying texts (18). The reader uses the same interpretive strategies with multiple narratives as with a single narrative; the visual search intensifies, sometimes even doubling or quadrupling the complexity with multiple narratives in a picture book. Evelyn Goldsmith writes, although there is no clear agreement about what constitutes complexity in visual material, it is generally accepted that human beings of any age find it attractive (399-400). A preference for complexity will ensure readers return to picture books with multiple narratives, while encouraging illustrators to create more texts in this format. In visual complexity, a picture book rivals other visual narrative forms of communication using a print media. It is, as Nodelman describes it, a subtle and complex form of communication, whose complexity escalates as narrative layers are added (20). Illustrators who creatively break a traditional narrative by illustrating multiple narratives may also crack convention by adapting puzzle or gaming aspects into their techniques. Some illustrators use hidden images. Marcia Brown illustrates her Caldecott Award winning retelling Shadow with crypthesthesiaan image hidden artistically within others to produce a double, hidden meaning (Lacy 189). Shadows primary narrative portrays the world of the living in black cutout forms while the second underlying layer of narrative in translucent white shapes, enhanced through crypthesthesia, implies the world of the shadow or the dead, a hidden second layer to life. This produces a backwards shadow effect with the solid figures of the world in black and the shadows in transparent white, transposing the normal view of a shadow caused by the sun. While Shadow is a translated narrative poem, these subtle techniques are usually reserved for non-sequential, non-narrative stories where the visual game is the purpose,

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13 and the textual clues add little. For example, the Wheres Waldo series or Mitsumasa Annos Annos Journey focuses the readers attention and action on finding the correct visual sign with little or no text. A non-linear, print hypertext format may be the next step if multiple narratives ever become pass. For now, picture books that both experiment with text and image, while breaking traditional conventions of continuous narrative, are a rare find. When parents or teachers discover one of the uncommon multiple narratives in picture books, they may assume a higher difficulty level or balk at the visual differences with traditional picture books. Therefore, because of preconceived assumptions, parents and teachers may not share multiple narratives picture books with children unless the books are either ALSC approved through the Caldecott Medal or of familiar folk and fairy tales. Nodelman explains, guides for teachers about using books with children most frequently suggest that those books should be chosen on the basis of a childs previous familiarity with their subject and style (37). This pedagogy builds on previous knowledge that usually overlooks new and exciting multiple narratives unless they are teamed with a familiar aspect recognizable to teachers and parents. For example, when paired with a classic tale, parents and teachers respond favorably to visual experimentation, as is the case with The Three Pigs. This is particularly true with folk and fairy tale revisions because of their unwavering place in our cultural knowledge, or to use Carl Jungs term, our collective unconscious. One can see the propensity for folk and fairy tales within the Caldecott Medal winning texts. Even though Caldecott winning illustrations must be original, the originality of the text is not included in the criteria for the award. Twenty-seven out of

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14 the sixty-six Caldecott Medal winners are retellings. With retellings securing over one-third of the awarded Medals and countless Honor seals, why, when the Medal rewards the most distinguished American picture book for children, do we see a predominance of unoriginal stories? Using revisionist tales creates a common ground between reader and illustrator, giving the reader familiar footing and the illustrator a shared jumping off point for visual experimentation. Retelling well-known stories in picture book form allows parents and children foreknowledge of the story and sanctions the illustrator to experiment visually with multiple narratives and include more multi-cultural references and styles within a picture book space. The illustrator may continue to build on a folk or fairy tales multi-faceted approach by visually using a double or a split narrative technique in their illustrations or expand on the multicultural references in regard to the texts cultural basis, all aided by the audiences prior knowledge. Because the audience understands the morphology of folk and fairy tales, the illustrator may use a recognized storyline as a mechanism to experiment with multiple narratives, which is what David Wiesner does in The Three Pigs. He or she can do this freely within a traditional story because the audience will retain comprehension as long as they have an understanding of the basic narrative story or structure. Wiesner explains this concept in his Caldecott Medal acceptance speech: I had ideas for so many neat visual things that could happen. Characters could jump out of the story. The pictures could fall down, be folded up, crumpled; text could get scattered about. What I didn't have was a story. Every time I tried to turn these ideas into a book, I ran into the same stumbling block. If I created a story and then had the characters leave to take part in a new story, the reader would be left wondering what was happening in the initial story. To make this idea work, I realized that I needed a story that as many kids as possible would already know, so that when the characters took off, the reader would leave the story behind as well and concentrate on the new journey the characters would take. So, I thought, what

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15 are the most universal stories around? In a way, any story would do. "Goldilocks"? "Hansel and Gretel"? And then, right on cue, up stepped those three pigs. (394) An illustrator can also effectively use multiple narratives with retellings because of folk and fairy tales multi-layered natures. Folk and fairy tales historically transcended a dual audience of child and adult, usually having one standard moral for childrens ears and an implied moral or level of meaning for adults to ascertain. Writing to a dual audience helps create situations where multiple narratives are applicable and accessible. But the duality does not end with audience. Sometimes multiple narratives can be expressed through culturally influenced illustrations and stylistic narrative techniques. For example, the Dillons culturally inspired woodcuts form double and split narratives that illustrate the primitive West African tale Why Mosquitoes Buzz in Peoplse Ears. Wiesners The Three Pigs sets a revisionist, postmodern American example through the medium of a cartoon double narrative. The American Dream of rags to riches breaks hierarchical convention by teaching children class boundaries are impermanent. Children are taught they can write their own destiny and become anything they want: president, congressman, astronaut. Similarly, in The Three Pigs, the main characters grow from rags to home owners, conquer their fears, boundaries, and enemies to write their own happily ever after ending. Both of these Caldecott Award books use cultural settings or culturally influenced illustrations to enhance the multiple narrative. Illustrator Blair Lent explains that while his pictures may be suggested by cultural Chinese sources, he has in no way attempted to imitate Chinese painting. These illustrations are interpretations by a Westerner of a fabled land (Bader 458). And interpretations are all the reader can expect, but picture book interpretations and revisions

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16 incorporate the American, or as Lent describes himself, the Western depiction, thus strengthening the illustrators connection to his American audience. Nodelman agrees: As in illustrations that evoke the styles of other times and other cultures, the meaning of those styles for us has more signifying potential than what they meant for those who first saw them, and for whom, presumably, they so expressed the values of their own culture that their stylistic characteristics were not remarkable noticeable (85). An American picture book retelling is specifically effective after it has been adapted for an American audience. Nodelman continues, if the readers are unfamiliar with the conventions of an alien culture, the remaking of the imagery of that culture in terms we can understand is inevitably more meaningful than the original (Nodelman 95). Therefore, even when other cultural tales are used in American picture books, there must be a blending of cultures, just like there is a blending or image and text, before the reader can comprehend the narratives. This merger adds dimension and substance that illustrators can draw from for multiple narratives. In support of the genre of picture books for an American audience, the ALSC, housed under the American Library Association (ALA), created guidelines of merit through the formation of the Caldecott Medal. The Medal generates a level of distinction within the genre of picture books with which to judge quality, a quality Frederic Melcher saw demonstrated in the work of British illustrator Randolph Caldecott, after whom the medal is named. The ALA awarded the first Caldecott Medal in 1938, sixteen years after the other prestigious childrens award, the Newbery Medal, was established. A selection committee elects one text a year, brands the chosen texts cover with a gold medal

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17 signifying artistic distinction among American picture books and rewards the illustrator with a bronze Caldecott Medal. Honor books receive a silver seal. The Caldecott Medal is an illustrious honor, which is essentially guaranteed to be a distinguished product. The winners are top illustrators who conform to the guidelines of excellence that the ALA drafted and set high standards of excellence for other picture books to follow. As a literary prize, the Medal helps further legitimize picture books through this created canon of quality. Committee members employ the following criteria when identifying a distinguished picture book: excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed; excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept; of appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme, or concept; of delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting mood or information through the picture; and excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience (Terms and Criteria). In theory, the Caldecott Medal helps structure the field of picture books and keeps the standards of expectation high. Irene Smith asserts that it, set[s] standards rather than catering to them; therefore improvements in content and design can be fairy placed in their direct line of influence (104). The trend set by Caldecott winners has been one of conservatism and white middle class mores, however multiple narrative texts like The Three Pigs and Black and White expand the conservative stance to include more visually experimental texts. Retellings, like Mosquitoes and Shadow, expand the outmoded homogenous attitude to include more positive cultural diversity. Whether experimental or conservative, once the illustrated text has the Caldecott Medal branded to the front cover, parents assume it to be superior to other picture books.

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18 While the Caldecott Medal exemplifies excellence within the picture book genre, multiple narratives have the potential to visibly exhibit compositional excellence and experimentation to break traditional convention and challenge the reader with more complexity for added enjoyment. By Black and White and The Three Pigs winning the Caldecott Award, thus becoming recognized as an exemplary picture book, hopefully we will see more multiple narratives picture books on the market. But, the ultimate decision begins in the illustrators imagination to be transferred onto the page through various artistic mediums. Multiple Visual Narratives: Illustrators Redesigning Space Within picture books, the illustrator becomes the visual narrator or visual storyteller: just as the storytellers point of view gave form and direction in ancient oral tradition so too can the illustrators viewpoint give form and direction (Lacy 16-17). Several illustrators have capitalized on reworking traditional tales with their original art: Marcia Brown won three times (1955, 1962, and 1983); while Leo and Diane Dillon (1976, 1977) won twice with retellings. David Wiesner won the Medal twice, but only one, The Three Pigs (2002), is a retelling. David Macaulay visually revised architectural structures in his two Caldecott Honor texts: Cathedral (1974) and Castle (1978), but his original sylleptic quadruple narrative won the 1991 Caldecott Committee over with its udder chaos, creating a groundbreaking moment in picture book multiple narratives. The next such moment would come with Wiesners The Three Pigs. Standard stories such as folktales, fairy tales, and retold classics create a controlled narrative space that allows illustrators to experiment with visual forms and also to explore multi-cultural styles. The traditional pre-text narrative in conjunction with audience foreknowledge helps create limits and boundaries within which the illustrator

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19 works. Of course, sometimes they work to seemingly destroy these boundaries, but without these limits disorder would reign and jumble the narrative to incoherency. Each picture book must retain some semblance of a cohesive underlying narrative structure or the additional narratives would be chaotic. With retellings, the audience has some prior knowledge about the storys content or narrative, therefore the illustrator can draw attention away from the pre-text itself and onto the additional, original narrative. The recent 2002 winner visually explores space through a double narrative while retelling the traditional story of The Three Little Pigs, creating the most experimental revision to date. However, this is not the first visually experimental retelling. Several other tales take visual liberties with space to experiment with narrative, breaking continuous narrative into a split narrative or double narratives and sometimes both. Other texts than the ones I specifically focus on use multiple narratives. For example, The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship (1969) illustrated by Uri Shulevitz and retold by Arthur Ransome uses a split narrative technique to help create a fantasy setting with illustrations of the flying ship. However, the texts chosen reflect the best use of multiple narrative techniques for this thesis. For example, the Dillons illustrate folktales with not one narrative technique, but several including both split and double narratives. Split and Double Narratives: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in Peoples Ears Leo and Diane Dillons use of multiple narratives is a result of the cooperation and input of the two-person illustrating team. According to their Caldecott Medal acceptance speech, they consider their collaborative illustrations to be, essentially, done by a third person, a collective merging of their talents. Together they developed a collaborative artistic style of woodcutting, which can be seen in their two back to back Caldecott Medal winners, Why Mosquitoes Buzz in Peoples Ears: A West African Tale (1976) and

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20 Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions (1977). Their artistic style was influenced by the African batik, with its variety of repeated patterns and traditional motifs (Lacy 186). The African influence compliments the West African folktale, while according to Nodelman, block printing, associates these pictures with the static convention of folk art, which tends to be more oriented to pattern than action (72). The Dillons artistic style is a direct result of their partnership and cultural influences. Their style helped them win their first Caldecott Medal for Why Mosquitoes Buzz in Peoples Ears, which is unique for both the culturally influence and the multiple narrative techniques. Lacy writes, the divergence from the norm in Mosquitoes is, then, not found in a truly different book layout but in the Dillons use of the artistic element space and in their unique, cinematic uses of continuous narrative, split narrative, and double narrative (193). Because of the multiple techniques employed, we will disregard the continuous narrative aspect because of its commonality and begin with their use of double narrative. Retold by Verna Aardema, Why Mosquitoes Buzz in Peoples Ears: A West African Tale retells a West African Tale about why pesky mosquitoes insist on flying around people ears. One day the mosquito flies over to the iguana and proceeds to tell the iguana a lie. This irritates the iguana to the point where he puts sticks in his ears so as not to hear at all. From there, a negative chain of events occurs, which end in the death of a baby owl. Because the owlet has died, the mother owl refuses to hoot and wake up the sun, causing a great disturbance among the animals. The lion calls an animal council to ascertain the lack of day and the story proceeds from there like The House That Jack Built, constantly repeating each animals action and reaction until they discover the

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21 culpritthe mosquito. His punishment is to buzz in peoples ears asking, Zeee! Us everyone still angry at me? (25). The Dillons illustrate double narrative within the context of storytelling, specifically at an animal council scene in Mosquitoes. The double narrative elaborates the animals stories about what caused the negative chain of events that progress throughout the book. Black, night scenes of the animal council crowd the left hand side of the page, while the visual exaggerations of what the animals say are interpreted to the right hand side of the page. The exaggerations are framed with black, usually by black trees, but have a background of sky blue, visually distinguishing them from the primary narrative. Nodelmans reasoning for these scenes construction centers on the disruption between the verbal and the visual of storytelling: this discontinuity between two parts of the same picture clearly marks off the depiction of the storytelling from the depiction of the story being told; it provides basic information we need to understand a complex picture (Nodelman 131-32). While the discontinuity between the left hand side of the spread and the right hand side of the spread does provide crucial information for interpreting the double narrative, Nodelman neglects to mention the textual inadequacy of the animals stories creating gaps that must be filled visually. He also specifically classifies the spread as a whole picture with two parts, making a passing reference to two distinct narratives, the storytelling and the story, without classifying the nature of the illustration as a representation of counterpointing multiple narratives. However, this lack of classification by Nodelman may be a result of a lack of terminology with which to address multiple narratives that we have already discussed.

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22 Yet he does use the available terminology incorrectly. Nodelman in Words About Pictures discounts Lyn Lacys visual interpretation of a picture book in order to prove her analysis revealed opposite results than what she concluded (126). But in this example, Lacy would have an opportunity for rebuttal. Nodelman incorrectly describes a scene in Why Mosquitoes Buzz in Peoples Ears as a continuous narrative, a term which he cites from Joseph Schwarcz (166). Nodelman specifically references the first python illustration as a continuous narrative: we also see the same characters twice in different locations and must understand that the depiction on the left comes first in order to understand the story, but here the figures are sometimes immediately beside each other and sometimes even partially superimposed on each other (167). The Dillons illustrate split narrative through the character of the python. He talks to the iguana on one page, while on the next page he crosses the gutter and slips down the rabbit hole, all on the same length of tale with two heads. This creates an M.C. Escher visual effect for children to pause and consider. An effect that is not just a case of images superimposed, but a key use of split narrative as Lacy accurately validates (193). Mosquitoes offers examples of metamorphosis, in which the stages of transformation for a figure are presented in a single setting and montage, which is used to compress within a scene a set of interconnected plots or ideas (Lacy 189). Marcia Browns Once a Mouse. . (1962), a fable from India, also incorporates metamorphosis to illustrate the physical change of a tiger back into a mouse. Both tiger and mouse are woodcut on the same spread, showing the same character in two different manifestations, on the same wordless page spread. The main character, a magical hermit who saved the

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23 mouse and gradually transformed him into a tiger reverses the process because of the tigers ungratefulness. On the left hand side of the spread in Once a Mouse . stands the hermit with arms outstretched toward the tiger and mouse, casting his spell. The tigers body crosses the page gutter, but heads away from the hermit into the woods to disappear and hide his shame. The mouse, at a full gallop, seems to run out of the tigers mouth and into the woods as monkeys and other forest creatures watch hidden in the trees. The use of color binds all three characters together in their magical moment of transformation. With a red sunset, maroon ground, and green woods, the only white space on the page encircles the mouse, defines the tigers strips, and clothes the hermit, visually determining their interconnectedness through color. This metamorphosis visually shows the physical loss of the mouse, which transforms from a muscular tiger back into a tiny rodent within the same field of action. However, Mosquitos metamorphosis with the double narrative of the night storytelling scene does not depict reality; instead it shows what the animals perceive. For the audience to accurately view the animals perceptions, they need to view the metamorphosis on the same page spread, playing on the duplicity of a narrative through the idea that more than one image can be presented within a single field of action (Lacy 189). Another visual addition can come in the form of a visual narrative that has little or no textual backing. This creates a separate visual narrative outside the primary narrative. One of the best-loved childrens books of all time, Goodnight Moon by multiple Caldecott Honor winner Margaret Wise Brown, added a silent character to fascinate

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24 children. Within each illustration, there is a small, gray, young mouse that appears in different locations about the room. His little whiskered nose points out from odd places, seemingly to encourage children to play a game of Wheres Waldo? with him. As Barbara Bader aptly summarizes, hardly noticeable, he is never unnoticed (259). The mouse adds a new visual narrative to the pretext, but retains distance from the continuous narrative of bedtime rituals. Similar to the quiet, little gray mouse in Goodnight Moon, the Dillons created two animals, a little red bird and an antelope, which silently move independently from the textual narration, thus creating their own personal narrative, a visual story within a story. However, in Mosquitoes the little red bird is not as completely separate from the continuous narrative as it may seem to the casual reader. The bird serves a purpose of pointing out the significant action or object within a spread with his pointed, triangular beak; at one point, for instance, the birds beak points at the mosquito, which has carefully hidden itself behind a leaf (Nodelman 128). The bird flies around, adding a second visual layer to every spread since he is the only character seen on every spread. Similarly, the antelope in Mosquitoes creates a narrative all his own apart from the text. Instead of pointing to important details, he seeks a connection with the reader in a more forward manner, highlighting his own importance. The antelopes gaze focuses not on the storyline action like the birds beak, but on the reader. He continually tries to catch the readers attention with his wide eyes and toothy grin, both directed at the reader. Even when all of the other animals hoot and howl in disgust to punish the mosquito, we see the antelope in the background, bright-eyed and smiling, the only animal grinning instead of baring teeth or scowling. Unlike the red bird, the antelope is

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25 textually acknowledged once: the antelope was sent to fetch him (Aardema 19). 4 This brief reference adds credence to the character, giving readers a brief textual clue to the antelopes presence in case they had previously missed him and his showing off. In Mosquitoes, the red bird functions as a sign pointing to action and the antelope extends the narrative outside of itself and the animal council to include the reader in a more intimate connection through gaze. Macaulays Black and White has a similar rodent, a small gray squirrel, in Waiting Game, who imitates and reflects the absurdity of the characters actions by mimicking them. If the characters put on newspaper hats, the squirrel has a newspaper hat on. If the characters applaud, then the squirrel applauds. He is similar to Wises gray mouse, dashing about the page, always to be found in a new location. Children are taught to read at a young age, but they are mainly educated in school to read words. Because of the lack of text to identify these unidentified, nameless characters, the audience must make cognitive leaps to correctly analyze the multiple narratives presented: visually, textually, and combined. Nodelman explains that without basic understandings of visual and verbal literacy, children with little experience of books scan pictures [. .] and consequently focus their attention on what are meant to be insignificant details (7). He is both right and wrong. Yes, children do need certain skills to effectively navigate a picture book. However, as the little red bird illustrates, there are very few insignificant details thrown into picture books, especially Caldecott winners. And sometimes, the details and additional characters add a second narrative to 4 Pagination begins on the first illustrated page.

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26 the original pre-text, adding to the readers experience both enjoyment and an added layer for analysis. Quadruple Sylleptic Narratives: Black and White Multiple narratives need more sophisticated examination and attention from readers because of their multi-layered story. In Black and White, after briefly explaining the various narrative possibilities, Macaulay begins with this warning: careful inspection of both words and pictures is recommended (i). While this quote could be printed at the beginning of every picture book, the cautionary beginning is pertinent to Black and White because of its increased cognitive level in negotiating the puzzling, atypical, multiple narratives to combine them into related stories. Most people cannot read Black and White one time through and be finished or satisfied. The reader, especially the child reader, experiments with different sequential possibilities, probably first reading the entire book, then each of the four potential individual narratives: Seeing Things, Problem Parents, A Waiting Game and Udder Chaos. Macaulay, in his Caldecott Acceptance speech, remarks, it is designed to be viewed in its entirety, having its surface read all over. It is a book of and about connections between pictures and between words and pictures (410). Yet, he depicts the only true use of sylleptic multiple narratives within the Caldecott canon by having four narratives that can be read independent of each other. The uniqueness of the text revolves around the fact that while the four stories can be read as independent, combined they create an intertextuality of connectedness through overlapping situations, visual motifs and color. Macaulay begins his text with the following preface as a warning: this book appears to contain a number of stories that do not necessarily occur at the same time. Then again, it may contain only one story. (i).

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27 In case the reader missed the read warning box on the title page, Macaulay visually shows the overlapping nature and maneuverability between the various narratives by having the thief from Udder Chaos climb down a sheet rope, crossing and casting a shadow on the title page for A Waiting Game. All four narratives have unique artistic styles and predominant colors to set them apart. Yet in the penultimate spread, these styles and colors fade into black, white, and gray, erasing literal panel boundaries for just one instance and then revert back to distinct storylines on the final spread (26). However on the final spread, some of the intertextuality remains because the robber from Udder Chaos stands on the train platform of A Waiting Game. Independent of each other, the stories may seem no different than other narratives, but combined and read together, the four narratives in Black and White intertwine temporally and spatially through odd moments in characters lives, through the use of black and white hues, and through repeated motifs of trains, newspapers, and cows that wander in and out of various panels. This creates a fractured, full-bodied narrative, split into four perspectives, told by four different narrators at different times. Yet sometimes, the physical panel boundaries break down, deleting line and panel restrictions, thus illustrating the interconnectedness of the four narratives. Black and White won the Caldecott for its illustrations in 1991. This is the first instance of blatant multiple narratives, used in an experimental fashion. Two years later, The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales illustrated by Lane Smith and written by Jon Scieszka, wins the 1993 Caldecott Honor Seal for fractured fairy tales that breaks narrative convention. The Stinky Cheese Man bridges the retellings

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28 counterpointing multiple narratives with sylleptic choices, thus giving a median example between Black and White and The Three Pigs. Black and White manipulates four complementing narratives; The Stinky Cheese Man manages a fractured story book with distinct fairy tales such as The Really Ugly Duckling and Little Red Running Shorts linked together through the peculiarity of their revisions and the persistent narrator of Jack; The Three Pigs begins with a traditional narrative, deviates from that narrative into the marginal space, and then eventually returns to the opening narrative to alter it in light of the other narratives presented. All three texts have at least one example of chaotic typography where the literal words are askew and falling down the page, illustrating the unstable nature of a multiple narrative and its potential to change and rewrite existing narratives. Postmodern Multiple Narratives: The Three Pigs One of the most experimental Caldecott Award winning texts is The Three Pigs (2002) by David Wiesner. It experiments with form through the medium of a picture book, challenging readers and breaking into boundaries not explored before, while grounding itself in a well-known story. As the chair of the 2002 Caldecott Award Selection Committee, Kate McClelland describes The Three Pigs: Pigs burst through the pages' boundaries and soar into new dimensions. Transformations occur as the pigs boldly enter new stories, make friends, and ultimately control their own fate. Witty dialogue and physical humor make this a selection that will have youngsters squealing with delight. Through Wiesner's vision and artistic virtuosity, The Three Pigs celebrates possibility. (www.ala.org) By including experimental texts in the Caldecott canon, the selection committees show that experimental behavior is acceptable, but only under the correct guidelines. Wiesners visual narrative both revises and transforms the traditional version of The Three Little Pigs, utilizing the margin space and activity therein to displace and rewrite

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29 both the original text and conventional illustrations. The revision happens inside the pre-text panels; the transformation occurs outside in the marginal gutter creating parallel visual narratives. In Wiesners acceptance speech for the 2002 Caldecott award, he asserts, The Three Pigs is the culmination of nearly a lifetime of thinking about a particular visual concept. And it all started with Bugs Bunny (393). He proceeds to describe an exact episode of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd where they run out of the cartoon and into blank white space. Additionally, in his forward to Wordless/Almost Wordless Picture Books: A Guide, Wiesner credits the black and white woodcut images of Lynd Wards Madmans Drum for teaching him many things about conveying information visually and about pacing and rhythm of a story (vii). The reader of Wiesners book can see these influences of the graphic narrative styles of comics and cartoons in his adventurous pigs, all styles that effectively use multiple narratives. Wiesner demonstrates that multiple narratives, when used in conjunction with a folk or fairy tale revision, amplify the retellings multi-leveled nature. After reading this picture book, no child will ever see The Three Little Pigs in the same light. Wiesners The Three Pigs develops fairy tale characters that not only step out of their archetypal roles, but also gain agency to create their own ending after exploring multiple stories. He capacitates the three pigs to jump out of their framed story book pages, explore their margin spaces, and share their freedom with others, thus concluding the multiple narratives in a politically correct, multi-culturally-embracing, reinterpreted, happily ever after ending. Wiesner empowers his characters to break free from their original frames and scripted roles thus regaining their personal voice by controlling and

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30 retelling their individual stories outside of the prescribed boundaries of the pre-text narrative. Yet, they finally integrate back into their original story line, changing not only the visuals, but also the text. Within the constructed confines of a fairy tale (these boundaries literally beginning at once upon a time and ending with and they all lived happily ever after) Wiesner assembles counterpointing narratives to supplement the symmetrical narrative of the traditional tale. The first narrative, the pre-text that begins the book, conveys the traditional story The Three Little Pigs. The second narrative augments the first, moving from frames into white space surrounding the first narrative. The true ingenuity of this text comes when the two narratives meet, combining both stories into an unusual, yet at the same time, traditional ending. Wiesner, through a comic framed parallel narrative, springboards from a traditional fairy tale, revising The Three Little Pigs to suit a postmodern viewing audience who can appreciate that not all stories are linear, and not all tales end exactly as expected. Childrens literature scholar Jack Zipes, writing generally of fairy tale retellings in Sticks and Stones notes: as they explore neglected issues and dimensions [. .], they define themselves in relation to these traditional pre-texts and thus provide a new understanding [. .] while determining and predetermining the fairy tale in contemporary society (123). The three little pigs, once outside of the pre-text, develop through exploration and experience, providing new understanding and meaning to their story and setting, eventually returning to their original story to impact it with their newfound agency. Will Eisner notes that usually, the first page of a story functions as an introduction. It is a launching pad for the narrative, and for most stories it establishes a

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31 frame of reference (62). However, Wiesner creates a false expectation, setting up the boundaries of a traditional fairy tale only to obliterate this expectation. The first part of The Three Pigs develops like a storyboard. The reader opens the book to a traditional picture book beginning: text and illustration incorporated into one picture with illustration that supports the expected text. And, it also begins with the clich, once upon a time (Wiesner 1). The divided frames or balloons are not yet visible. Word balloons are only used when the pigs step out of the story frames into the marginal gutter, or space between panels (Eisner 163). In The Three Pigs, the art form does not initially dominate the readers attention, but as we extend beyond the frame of the original narrative, the visuals become increasingly more important. Continuing through the story there is a greater interdependency of words (text) and image (art) (Eisner 124). This interdependency achieves an elevated level when the pigs begin their second narrative. It occurs in the white space outside the panels that constitute the margin or gutter between panels, the proverbial space between the lines. Eisner proposes, if a rule is possible, I would ordain that what goes INSIDE the panel is PRIMARY! (63). Wiesners key achievement in narration, however, comes not inside his panels but outside them. The panel may be considered a single-sequence container, within the field of action, but since Wiesners narrative expands outside the frame, the whole page becomes what Eisner terms a super-panel [] best employed for parallel narratives, the exact function for which Wiesner uses the super-panel (80). Eisner continues, In a plot where two independent narratives are shown simultaneously, the problem of giving them equal attention and weight is addressed by making the panel that controls the total narrative the entire page itself. The result, a set of panels within panels, attempts to control the readers line of reading so that two storylines may be followed synchronously. (80)

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32 Wiesner not only relies on the stylistic choice of panels within panels to convey his double narration, but he also depends on the readers familiarity with the traditional tale The Three Little Pigs, the text of which is not included in this book in its entirety. Ironically, the double narrative begins not with the pig initiating his escape from the story, but with the wolf who huffs and puffs and blows the little pig out of the frame. The pig responds factually, hey! He blew me right out of the story! (Wiesner 3). After this spatial rupture occurs, there is a breakdown between text and illustration in the pre-text narrative. Discrepancies between text and illustration appear with these alterations; the text within the panels informs the reader that the wolf ate the pig, yet the pigs involvement outside the panel confirms the truth in the pigs escape as he leaves behind a bewildered looking wolf. Wiesner uses the illustrations within the panels as marginal gloss to contradict the original text. After the first pig is blown out of the panel, the text of the narrative remains consistent with the original, but the illustrations accompanying the text alter to prove what actually happensthe wolf does not eat the pig because the pig has been blown out of the wolfs visual plane. Therefore, in the illustration, the wolf shrugs his shoulders in disbelief, wondering where the pig has gone, while the text affirms that he ate the pig up (Wiesner 3, 5). This discontinuity between illustration and text within the panel continues throughout the entire first narrative. Moreover, the pre-text panels are not the only instance where this glitch occurs; we also see it in the subsequent narratives that the pigs jump into. Graphically, the knight in the chivalric fantasy scratches his head and wonders where the dragon is while the text asserts that the prince drew his sword, and slew the mighty dragon (28). Words remain

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33 fixed in tradition; illustration conforms. This could be accounted for because the traditional tale is not Wiesners wording, therefore he has no control over the original text, only his unique illustrations. Once his illustrations (the pigs) gain agency through their exploration, they secure control over the original text, molding it to fit their paradigm. The three pigs story stagnates on the page, unable to change or move away from the original until they learn to wander in the margin becoming their own characters. Here they are given agency to become the characters they desire, not the characters scripted for them. They replace the original text with their own version, literally replacing the physical text by knocking the letters off the page before hanging them back up again. While the pigs are wayward, escaping their original narrative and wandering within the margin, they also complete the original text by gaining their own voice to finalize the original text with the same expected wording of and they all lived happily ever after (Wiesner 38). But they do this through an unexpected means. The text of the original tale is unaware of their presence in the margin, evident by the text continuing as if the pigs are still in the panes, the illustrations are vividly aware that the pigs have escaped into the gutter. They both digress from the original text, while at the same time completing that text with a fuller explanation through multiple interpretations of their final panel. Without the marginal gloss of the pigs, the story would have remained just a simple telling of The Three Little Pigs with new illustrations by Wiesner. The addition of the pigs playing in the margin, the tension created between the original story and the use of marginal space unifies the parallel narratives into one cohesive, unique tale of textual displacement and revision.

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34 The pigs gain distinction from the pre-text once they are outside of the panels and in the margin. The most evident and instantaneous change that occurs as the pigs retreat out of the rectangular panel is their appearance, which helps visually separate the two narratives. Visual segregation with varying artistic styles, colors, texture, and space is a common way to distinguish between multiple narratives. Blair Lent uses a similar visual distinction of color and detail to separate his parallel narratives in his 1973 Caldecott Medal winner, The Funny Little Woman. The Three Pigs opens with the expected cartoon style animation within the frames. This style includes simplified, clean lines; uniform pastel colors; and a lack of detail. As the pigs step out of the frame into the white marginal space, they become less cartoonish as the style begins to more closely reflect reality. Details such as multiple colors, hair, and shadows are employed to create a realistic affect. But this is not the only change between the first narrative in the panel and the second narrative in the margin. Differing typography in the font of the text delineates narratives. In the marginal second narrative, the New Century Schoolbook font of the pre-text converts to a more conversational typeset, illustrating the transition from didactic fairy tale to freedom and exploration through the font choice. Also, inside the panel, the pigs scripted text is framed with quotation marks denoting their speech. Yet, all three pigs have the exact same dialogue: not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin (Wiesner 2, 5). Hairs absent from their stylized faces until they enter the margin where they are drawn with an abundance of body hair. Outside of the panel, each pig speaks individually through word balloons, adjusting the method of speech to differentiate between the first and second narrative. This marginal gutter space thus becomes more realistic than the contrived

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35 story in the frame, granting the pigs agency to begin creating their own story once outside their restricted, first narrative. This exploration of self-identity leads them through other constructed tales, like the nursery rhyme and knights tale, yet within these other tales, their presence has the power to alter illustrations, just as they altered illustrations within their own story. Only when the adventure concludes are they able to also alter text within the panels and rewrite their own story within the context of the original narrative. Yet the pigs do not escape into the margin without a narrative attempt to recapture the traditional within-the-frame fairy tale storyline, depicted with one standard illustration with a frame per page. After the first pig escapes, the following page consists of a full page spread, visually forcing the story back into its first symmetrical narrative with illustration submitting to and illuminating text. However, the first little pig alerts his companion to the newfound world between the panels (Wiesner 4). The pigs then begin to explore their ability to disturb and move the panels, as seen in the wolfs panel tilted askew (6). Expanding their level of control over the panels, and simultaneously over their original narrative, the realistically rendered pigs fold the two-dimensional wolf up into a paper airplane, moving on with their new life. It is interesting to note that the pigs rely on their past narrative as a mode of transportation to search their new space, thus why these multiple narratives form a counterpointing picture book in place of the sylleptic picture book. Although there is a deconstructive aspect of them riding on traditional voice, Wiesner uses this paper airplane as a way of connecting the two narratives. There is not a single spread absent of a panel in some shape or form: the margin cannot stand alone

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36 without a panel to create a margin; the second narrative cannot exist without the first. Throughout the exploration, a spatial relationship between panel and margin is retained. The pigs exploration takes the form of a major wordless sequence in Wiesners book. Here, the pigs disregard all semblances of rigid, rectangular panels when they fold up the wolf. They also disregard the super-panel, or the page boundaries, by flying out of the readers line of sight and off the page, thus symbolizing their learned knowledge of how to break the rules and gain a euphoric freedom. Wiesner illustrates this exaltation through their visages displayed while the pigs contentedly coast on the airplane delighting in their surrounding and liberty (12-13). Whether or not the nearly wordless flight scene was the pigs happiest moments or not, it is still the central sequence of motion and discovery that enlightens the entire second narrative. This narrative develops around the central flight, which visually stands out because of the mammoth white space allowed on the double spreads. White space could be seen as the lack or absence of background, liberating the pigs even more from the pre-text setting. In the forward to Wordless/Almost Wordless Picture Books: A Guide, David Wiesner self-reflects, early on, I realized that creating a sequence of images was more interesting than just a single picture. Creating a wordless picture book requires great care and clarity in every aspect of the pictures making. Because the images are the text, everything in them must contribute not only to the advancement of the plot but to revealing the emotions and feelings of the characters. (vii). By disregarding the field of action, one pig shatters the imaginary fourth wall by informing his companions, I think . someones out there, speaking to the reader (20). This creates a higher level of involvement between the reader and the pig, reversing the

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37 voyeuristic gaze from the character back onto the reader. Because the pig has been allotted agency over his domain in the margin, we, the readers, become another narrative possibility he could enter. By visually identifying the reader through his gaze and then verbally affirming the readers presence, the pig has the possibility of joining our reality in the same way that he is about the join a nursery rhyme. Even though the pig is located off in the margin from the original three little pigs tale, once he recognizes the world outside of the picture book, the full spread of the picture book becomes a panel that he could escape from. While this might be impossible for a printed text to convey, it would be an action that one might expect in an animated cartoon or hypertext. The white space of the marginal second narrative not only theoretically reflects back on the original narrative, but also becomes a haven for the pigs, a place to escape being eaten by the wolf. The first pig persuades the second pig to join the second narrative by telling him, come onits safe out here, away from the restrictive pre-text (Wiesner 5). The pigs define their panels as confining and restricting in contrast to the openness of the white space where the one pig exclaims, now we have room to move (7). It is at this point that the pigs begin developing into fully rounded individuals with specific and unique characteristics, although they do retain some characteristics from the original tale. For example, the third pig who built his house out of bricks continues to be the wisest pig of the three even outside of the pre-text. In the margin they are given choices, not scripted lines, yet these choices come after the developmental preparation of the pigs. Once outside the original panels of the first narrative, the three pigs navigate the marginal space of the second narrative, learning to interact with their new surroundings.

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38 Accustomed to a rigid, rectangular panel guarding the confines of their existence, the pigs first advance through a tremendous void of white space, clearing the field of action from color and form. When speaking of the extensive white space in his text, Wiesner says, but in the context of the story, that emptiness creates as much of a sense of place as does an elaborately detailed illustration. (395). The white space is a distinct placethe margin of the first narrative and the setting for the second. It may be absent of any drawn setting, but it is a means to interact the pre-text with other narratives not their own. After flying around in the margin, they traverse through two independent narratives: a borderless nursery rhyme and a multi-paneled fantasy. They conclude back in the standard rectangular panel of the first narrative. Each additional narrative escalates the pigs experience and agency. The marginal second narrative transports the pigs between other narratives, but the original pre-text narrative constructs the organizational structure that unites each different story, connecting it to the next narrative. After the airplane ride in the second narrative, the pigs first encounter with another story happens gradually over three spreads, slowly introducing them back to storybook characters, set panels, and scripted narratives. After their plane crash, the wisest pig notices a green tint at the top of the right hand page. He is the only one who notices and informs his two brothers, hey! Over here! (19). The wisest brother and the second wisest brother slowly stretch the independent, third narrative down into their space until the full page constitutes a new story completely removed from The Three Little Pigs. Yet this story is a return back to the basics of reading through a babys nursery rhyme. Hey Diddle Diddles illustrations are elementary with pastel colors and little detail into

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39 which the pigs integrate, matching the color palette and style of the nursery rhyme illustrations. Additionally, the nursery rhymes panel is oval and fluid, bleeding into the white space instead of having a rigid border. The shape and lack of a border ease the pigs into their first attempt to invade another story. While they are able to enter the story, they neither talk to the characters nor directly influence any character. Moreover, the illustration continues to faithfully represent the text. The cat with the fiddle daintily steps out of the panel after her part in the rhyme finishes (23). Yet, the pigs do not have a direct influence on the third narrative: the cats curiosity prompts her to follow their lead, step out of her fiddle solo, and join the pigs in the marginal white space (23). Later, as the pigs gain experience, they gain power over which texts they enter and power to effect elements within those narratives. The fourth and final narrative they encounter depicts a black and white chivalric fantasy. This tale has neither the rigid border of the fairy tale, nor the fluid border of the nursery rhyme. As the middle stage, this medieval text has panels within panels that create a buffer zone for ease of entry. The multiple panels create a second layer of gutter space for the pigs to navigate and familiarize themselves with before delving into the actually text (26). And the pigs do just that. In a smaller, less prominent panel, we can see all three pigs riding on the dragons back drawn in the same pen and ink crisp style in which the dragon is drawn. Additionally, the pigs directly influence the dragon to leave his panel. The situation of the fantasy text allows the pigs to actualize power in aid of the dragon because he is in the same situation of danger as the pigs were in with the wolf. The pigs

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40 actively rescue the dragon from being slain by the prince, physically pushing him out of the frame. While the pigs indirectly influence the cat who willingly joins them, they forcibly alter the dragons fate. But because the dragon has the help and experience of the pigs, he does not have to escape in stages, first through his own story gutter and then into the larger marginal white space. Instead, he leaves directly into the greater margin, curling his talons over his storys gutter, but never breaking the dimensional space of the gutter to enter his second narrative (27). Once in the marginal second narrative, although the dragon and the cat stylistically take on the attributes of realism in their drawing, their speech remains that of their tale. This discontinuity creates a dissonance between text and illustration. The cat sings the chorus, hey diddle diddle! and the dragon eloquently thanks the pigs, many thanks for rescuing me, O brave and noble swine (Wiesner 29). The cat and dragon are not transgressing prescribed roles because they are not exploring their new identity in the second narrative yet. Also, both bring props from their original narratives with them as narrative links: the fiddle and the rose, which they carry till the end of the picture book. They not only bring these props along with them, but also actively use them in the final panel once the characters are settled into the pigs brick house: the cat plays her fiddle and the dragon displays his golden rose as the tables, and the whole panels, centerpiece. Their inability to leave behind their old narratives has possible consequences that may leave the entourage in shambles, but before this final panel, the characters attempt to reconstruct the fairy tale with an ending more suitable to their liking. Attempting to reestablish the original narrative of The Three Little Pigs, the frame spreads back into a full-page panel (Wiesner 36). Here the additional characters

PAGE 48

41 enter the three little pigs realm, scare the wolf, and scatter the text of the traditional fairy tale thus merging all narratives into one collective, ur-narrative. By gathering up the scattered letters, the pigs and company can visually and textually reconstruct not only their new dwelling, but also the ending to their collective narrative. With dragon and cat in tow, the pigs reenter their pre-text home. When the pigs enter their original story, it is in the same panel from which the last pig left. Although the first narrative is chronologically in the same place (the text has not altered), the illustration of the wolf within the panel is different. The positions of the wolf within each panel connote instability, thus reflecting that what has occurred outside the panelthe pigs exploration of their surroundings and the exercise of their own voiceshas affected the traditional narrative. Indeed this schism between text and illustration further enforces the concept that the pictures not only fail to reinforce the text, but also suggest a second narrative that parallels the original. The blending of the narratives occurs in the final panels, taking aspects from each one to create a final unified whole. Even though the pigs resume their storybook coloration once they are inside the pre-text panel, they retain agency over their destiny and story by controlling the text of the original story. However, once back in the pre-text story, none of the animals continue to speak, either through quoted dialogue within the rewritten text or through the word balloons used while they were in the margin. In fact, they never speak in any of the paneled stories. To save the dragon, the pig must first stick his head out of the panel into the margin to regain the power of speech (27). Without dialogue, the blending of the two narratives culminates with a merger in the last full-page panel. However, because it is a little pig placing the lettering up, we can

PAGE 49

42 assume, even though there are no quotes or word balloons, that this is his voicehis curtailed voice. In the final panel, the text remains incomplete: and they all lived happily ever aft [. .] (Wiesner 38). The general reader may disregard this incompleteness and subconsciously fill in the last two letters: e and r, which the pig clutches in his hoof. So driven by the traditional narrative ending, it may not occur to the reader that instead of saying after, the final complete narrative concludes with aft. The Oxford English Dictionary defines aft as behind, in the rear and of time: back from the present, earlier. Do the characters only live happily ever after in their previous, individual narratives? After is also defined in the OED through time as of time or next, following, the opposite definition of aft. If they were only happy earlier, then what is the cause of their incomplete happily ever after now in their combined narrative? Or, does the little pig not have the time or ability to complete the word? The answer may be found in the dragons gaze and countenance. Every other character in the last panel looks up expectantly at the little pig, but the dragon, while clutching the soup barrel in his talons, longingly hungers after the pig with a look of devious desire on his face. This is not the first time that the dragon has looked hungrily at the pig. When the two first meet in a sub-panel of the chivalric fantasy, the dragon watches the pig with the same mischievous grin, while the pig contentedly rides on the dragons back (Wiesner 26). In his original narrative, the dragon constitutes the villain who must be eradicated from the land. Why should the dragon lose his villainous character role just because he steps into the marginal second narrative? None of the other

PAGE 50

43 characters have a drastic personality change, only a period of growth. The dragon still guards the golden rose even though the knight can not reach it, thus showing evidence that his old nature remains with him even in the new collective narrative. Within the final panels, evil has not been totally eliminated from the story as evidenced by the wolf sitting outside the window. It is quite possible that the dragon may take over the role of the wolf, not in huffing and puffing (though dragons are known for that with their fire-breathing ways), but in eating the little pig up. Aft also holds a nautical or aeronautical denotation according to the OED, of motion or direction: towards the stern, into the hinder part of the ship or of position: in or near the hinder part or stern of a ship. Also of an aircraft. Note that it is not only a ship that uses aft, but an aircraft as well. The pig placing the final letters may be referencing the paper airplane they used previously in the text. One illustration in particular shows the aft of the airplane as well as the hindquarters and tails of the three pigs (Wiesner 14). Combing both meanings of aft (earlier and in the hinder part of an aircraft) confirms the exact moment of their happinesstheir airplane ride. This is the moment when they are euphoric from escaping the wolf with their lives intact, and are on an exciting journey through uncharted marginal space. In the white space they are in a type of collective unconscious, linking to every narrative. Here they are free travelers with unlimited access to narratives. We can see an even greater connection with the enjoyment of the white space and my interpretation of aft because the pig placing the letters is the same pig that first initiates exploration of the white space (9) and then exploration into other stories (21). Him initiating this journey shows his enthusiasm, which later turns into longing as he reflects back. His longing constitutes the final

PAGE 51

44 merger of the two parallel narratives. However, the pigs return to their pre-text, but not without nostalgia for the happy days within the margins white space. In Sticks and Stones, Zipes concludes that, it is important to consider the unique aesthetic modalities that are employed to transform the ideological meanings of the pre-text, and it is especially significant to consider how illustrations and texts are used to counter each other in unique ways (108-109). He also notes, the most exciting work that is done in the illustration [. . of] picture books involves the use of revised stories and sophisticated imagery to work against and question the pre-text (116). Quite clearly, Wiesner has mingled illustration and text to suggest two differing, though connected, stories. By allowing the pigs to escape their traditional narrative that occurs within confining panels, Wiesner empowers the pigs to develop their own voices and ultimately to write and rewrite their own stories into another narrative. Indeed, it is in these marginal, gutter narratives that the truly interesting story takes place as the pigs revise and question their own pre-text in order to all live happily ever aft[. .] (38). Conclusion Illustrator and Caldecott Honor winner Joseph Low explains, the thing which is missing from most childrens books is the thing which is at its peak in childrens own work: spontaneous invention, emotional intensity, a natural use of the visual language (125). Multiple visual narratives bring back these three missing elements, effectively integrating invention, emotion, and visual language into something both child and adult readers can enjoy. Nodelman writes that, narrative art is always a combination of pattern and randomness, order and disorderone might even say, of abstraction and representation, (74). One can see pattern and randomness, order and disorder in the multiple narrative

PAGE 52

45 picture books discussed. Leo and Diane Dillons Why Mosquitoes Buzz in Peoples Ears displays both split and double narrative techniques in the mid 1970s, to be one of the first Caldecott winners attempting to experiment visually. David Macaulay, in the early 1990s, creates a quadruple sylleptic picture book that displays temporally displaced interconnectedness through visual clues and motifs. Black and White begins a small movement toward experimental multiple narratives. Again, in 2002, the Caldecott recognized another exceptional multiple narrative, David Wiesners The Three Pigs. The Three Pigs alleviates the seemingly disconnected chaos of Black and White by using a traditional, well-known fairy tale as its narrative pre-text. These texts, through using multiple visual narratives, require more advanced analysis from readers than continuous narrative style and encourage creativity by breaking traditional conventions. Hopefully this trend of narrative experimentation will continue and more distinguished picture books will be available for children and adults to read and enjoy.

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LIST OF REFERENCES Aardema, Verna. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in Peoples Ears: A West African Tale. New York: Dial Press, 1975. Illus. by Leo and Diane Dillon. Bader, Barbara. American Picturebooks from Noahs Ark to the Beast Within. New York: Macmillan, 1976. Brown, Marcia. Once A Mouse. . New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1961. -. Shadow: From the French of Blaise Cendrars. New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1982. Eisner, Will. Comics and Sequential Art. Tamarac, FL: Poorhouse Press, 1985, 2001. -. Graphic Storytelling & Visual Narrative. Tamarac, FL: Poorhouse Press, 1996, 2001. Goldsmith, Evelyn. Research Into Illustration: An Approach and A Review. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1984. Lacy, Lyn Ellen. Art and Design in Childrens Picture Books: An Analysis of Caldecott Award-Winning Illustrations. Chicago: American Library Association, 1986. Low, Joseph. Picture Books. The Illustrators Notebook. Ed. Lee Kingman. Boston: The Horn Book, Incorporated, 1978. Lukens, Rebecca J. A Critical Handbook of Childrens Literature. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2003. Macaulay, David. Black and White. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co, 1990. -. Caldecott Medal Acceptance. Horn Book Magazine. 67:4 (Jul/Aug 1991): 410-422. McClelland, Kate. Medal Winner. Association for Library Service to Children. American Library Association. Last accessed March 15, 2003. < http://www.ala.org/ALSCTemplate.cfm?Section=Caldecott_Medal_and_Honor_Books,_1938-Present&Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=16743 > Mitchell, W.J.T. Picture Theory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994. 46

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47 Mosel, Alene. The Funny Little Woman. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1972. Illus. Blair Lent. Nikolajeva, Maria and Carole Scott. How Picturebooks Work. New York: Garland Publishing, 2001. Nodelman, Perry. Words About Pictures: The Narrative Art of Childrens Picture Books. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1988. Schwarcz, Joseph H. Ways of the Illustrator: Visual Communication in Childrens Literature. Chicago: American Library Association, 1982. Scieszka, Jon. The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales. New York: Viking, 1992. Illus. Lane Smith. Smith, Barbara Hernstein. Narrative Versions, Narrative Theories. On Narrative. Ed W.J.T. Mitchell. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980. Smith, Irene. A History of the Newbery and Caldecott Medals. New York: Viking Press,1957. Terms and Criteria. Association for Library Service to Children. American Library Association. Last accessed March 15, 2004. < http://www.ala.org/ala/alsc/awardsscholarships/literaryawds/caldecottmedal/caldecottterms/caldecottterms.htm > Wiesner, David. Caldecott Medal Acceptance. Horn Book Magazine. 78:4 (2002): 393-399. -. Forward. Wordless/Almost Wordless Picture Books: A Guide. Ed. Virginia H. Richey and Katharyn E. Puckett. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1992. -. The Three Pigs. New York: Clarion Books, 2001. Zipes, Jack. Sticks and Stones. Routledge: New York, 2002.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Cathlena Anna Martins journey to graduate school in English began before she could read. Her mother would sit and rock, rock, read for hours in the rocking chair, thus instilling a natural love for books. Cathlenas strong reading education continued through high school at Briarwood Christian High School where her English teachers pushed her to excel. She went on to receive two bachelors degrees, one a Bachelor of Arts in English and the other a Bachelor of Science in Education, from Samford University in Birmingham, AL. Again, strong English professors mentored her to continue schooling in English. Cathlenaa area of interest is childrens literature, particularly visual narratives, fairy tales, and retellings. Once this thesis is submitted, Cathlena will take part of the summer off to go home to spend time with her parents, and then begin her Ph.D. studies at the University of Florida. 48


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Title: Breaking Narrative Bounds: The Use of Multiple Visual Narratives in Caldecott Medal Award Books
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Copyright Date: 2008

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BREAKING NARRATIVE BOUNDS:
THE USE OF MULTIPLE VISUAL NARRATIVES IN CALDECOTT MEDAL
AWARD BOOKS
















By

CATHLENA ANNA MARTIN


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2004

































Copyright 2004

by

Cathlena Anna Martin





































For Mom and Dad
















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

First and foremost, I want to thank my family, for without their love and support

none of this would be possible: thanks go to Tamara and Phillip for encouraging

packages in the mail and surprise Spooky Chicken moments; a thank you goes to my

daddy for all the children's books he purchased during this endeavor and the special

version of "The Three Little Pigs" he wrote; and a thank you goes to my mother, the best

research assistant anyone could ask for. I also want to thank Dr. Kenneth Kidd and Dr.

John Cech for their academic support. And, I want to thank Irene Moody who first gave

me a copy of David Wiesner' s The Three Pigs. Psalms 18:6,16, 18 aptly describes my

final acknowledgment of help throughout this thesis process: "In my distress I called to

the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came

before him, into his ears .. He reached down from on high and took hold of me; the

Lord was my support."




















TABLE OF CONTENTS


page

ACKNOWLEDGMENT S .............. .................... iv


AB STRAC T ................ .............. vi


BREAKING NARRATIVE BOUNDS .............. .....................1


Introducti on .................. ..... ........ .......... .. .. ... ...............
Multiple Narratives: Limitations, Techniques, and Possibilities............... ..............
Multiple Visual Narratives: Illustrators Redesigning Space .................. .. ...............18
Split and Double Narratives: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People' s Ears. ..............19
Quadruple Sylleptic Narratives: Black and White ............... .....__............26
Postmodern Multiple Narratives: The Three Pigs ................. ............ .........28
Conclusion ................ ...............44.................


LIST OF REFERENCES ................. ...............46................


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .............. ...............48....
















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts

BREAKING NARRATIVE BOUNDS:
THE USE OF MULTIPLE VISUAL NARRATIVES IN CALDECOTT MEDAL
AWARD BOOKS

By

Cathlena Anna Martin

May 2004

Chair: John Cech
Major Department: English

Most picture books follow a conventional, continuous narrative pattern presenting

one strand of a tale in linear sequence with pictures illustrating the written text. A

handful of picture books deviate from the traditional narrative style to produce visually

engaging multiple narratives. Multiple narratives can be, as Maria Nikolajeva describes,

either counterpointing with two or more mutually dependent narratives, or sylleptic with

narratives independent of each other. Picture book multiple narratives allow a child

reader to tune out the everyday noise and concentrate on the frozen narratives on the

page, spending as much time as she is able to negotiate the text. This creates an

environment for the child to go at her own pace negotiating between the narratives. This

thesis argues that multiple visual narratives, whether counterpoint or sylleptic, require

more advanced analysis from readers than continuous narrative style, encourage

creativity by breaking traditional conventions, and when used in conjunction with a folk

or fairy tale revision, amplify the retelling' s multi-leveled nature by building on cultural









knowledge. Also, multiple narratives in picture book form allow the child to freeze the

narratives and analyze them strand by strand, learning to integrate and process these

multiple narratives, thus learning a multi-tasking lesson that will be applicable for the rest

of the child' s life.

Allocation of space into picture books using multiple visual narratives may not be

mainstream yet as it is with television and film, but several award winning texts have

already successfully experimented with this technique. Specifically, this visual

exploration predominates among illustrators who have won multiple Caldecott Medals

for retellings, including Leo and Diane Dillon, Marcia Brown, and David Wiesner.

Primarily, Dillon' s Why M~osquitoes Buzz in People 's Ears (1976) and Wiesner' s The

Three Pigs (2002) represent the top Caldecott retellings presented via a counterpointing

multiple narratives technique. However, I also explore one exception that illustrates a

sylleptic quadruple narrative--the 1991 Caldecott Medal winner, Black and White by

David Macaulay. The crux of my analysis will focus on the newest Caldecott winning

multiple narratives text, The Three Pigs, because of its diverse use of multiple narratives

to retell the traditional version of "The Three Little Pigs" and its visual distinctiveness in

diverging from the primary narrative into other narrative possibilities. However, all of

these texts illustrate basic functions and artistic designs of multiple narratives, challenge

readers with cognitive puzzles and create something visually new and stimulating the

Caldecott committees saw worthy to award.
















BREAKING NARRATIVE BOUNDS

Introduction

The twenty-first century has become a technologically advanced era of multi-

tasking, a term first associated with a computer processing multiple independent j obs

simultaneously. While this was once an expression limited for computers, neither adults

nor children can escape multi-tasking, nor can they escape the barrage of visual

stimulation in everyday life. It is reasonable to assume that in our culture children from

even a preverbal age navigate multiple stimuli, particularly visual stimuli. A mother sits

in the kitchen paying bills electronically on her laptop, baking cookies in the oven, and

cutting out a craft proj ect for her son. Meanwhile her son watches cartoons on the

kitchen television, listens to a children's CD playing from his mother's laptop, plays with

his dog, and helps paste the craft cutouts onto a poster board. While this may not

represent every home in American, the one constant factor among Americans is that we

live in a fast-paced society where sensory stimuli from visual narratives bombard us

daily.

Life is not a sequential storybook where only one event takes place at a time. Film

and television, particularly sitcoms, have capitalized on the up-tempo, multi-faceted slice

of life by having multiple subplots and narratives intertwine. Children learn to process

and make sense of multiple narratives from a very early age. Even Sesamne Street, that

standard of children' s television, jumps from activity to activity in order to keep the









child's attention. However, one visual medium is beginning to use multiple narratives--

picture books.

Most picture books follow a conventional, continuous narrative pattern presenting

one strand of a tale in linear sequence with pictures illustrating the written text. A

handful of picture books deviate from the traditional narrative style to produce visually

engaging multiple narratives. Multiple narratives can be, as Maria Nikolaj eva and Carole

Scott describe, either counterpointing, with two or more mutually dependent narratives,

or sylleptic with narratives independent of each other (12). The similarity between the

definition of multi-tasking and multiple narratives cannot be ignored. Both denote a

variety of activity happening at once that the user must process. Picture book multiple

narratives allow a child reader to tune out the everyday noise and concentrate on the

narratives frozen on the page, spending as much time as he or she is able to negotiate the

text. This creates an environment for the child to go at his or her own pace to negotiate

between the narratives. This thesis argues that multiple visual narratives, whether

counterpoint or sylleptic, require more advanced analysis from readers than continuous

narrative style, encourage creativity by breaking traditional conventions, and when used

in conjunction with a folk or fairy tale revision, amplify the retelling's multi-leveled

nature by amplifying cultural knowledge. Also, multiple narratives in picture book form

allow the child to gaze at the narratives and analyze them strand by strand, thus learning

to integrate and process these multiple narratives.

As postmodernism becomes even more mainstream and even approaches being

passe, there will be a growing number of picture books that use multiple narrative

techniques, thus reducing the uniqueness of this visual experimentation but increasing the









need for critical analysis that can maneuver print multiple narratives. At least, this is how

the current trend logically concludes if one looks chronologically at Caldecott Medal

Award picture books as a control group. The picture books of the 1970s begin to subtly

try multiple narrative techniques, but it is not until the 1990s and later that one sees

whole picture books incorporating visually experimental multiple narrative techniques,

not on a spread-by-spread basis, but as the foundation for the storyline and picture book

as a whole. Multiple visual narratives will cease to be ground breaking and exploratory

in picture books as they become an excepted norm, just as continuous narrative is

currently. Picture books will have finally caught up with how people experience

everyday life, popular culture and the visual media of television and film by producing

not just one story line for the reader/viewer to follow but multiple narratives to analyze.

For this reason, picture books with multiple narratives need to be included in academic

discussions of how picture books work and in public spheres such as libraries so that

parents, teachers, and librarians can aid a child reader through the format, thus learning

how to traverse the page's space and hopefully read more thoroughly the multiple

narratives of daily life.

Allocation of space into multiple visual narratives may not be mainstream yet as it

is with television and film, but several award winning texts have already successfully

experimented with this technique. Specifically, this visual exploration predominates

among illustrators who have won multiple Caldecott Medals for retellings, including Leo

and Diane Dillon, Marcia Brown, and David Wiesner.l Primarily, Dillon' s Why

Mosquitoes Buzz in People 's Ears (1976) and Wiesner' s The Three Pigs (2002) represent

SNonny Hogrogian has also won two Caldecott awards for folktales, but prefers a continuous narrative
style.










the top Caldecott retellings presented via a counterpointing multiple narratives technique.

However, I also explore one exception that illustrates a sylleptic quadruple narrative--the

1991 Caldecott Medal winner, Black and White by David Macaulay. The crux of my

analysis will focus on the newest Caldecott winning multiple narratives text, The Three

Pigs, because of its diverse use of multiple narratives to retell the traditional version of

"The Three Little Pigs" and its visual distinctiveness in diverging from the primary

narrative into other narrative possibilities. However, all of these texts illustrate basic

functions and artistic designs of multiple narratives, challenge readers with cognitive

puzzles, and create something visually new and stimulating the Caldecott committees saw

worthy to award.

Multiple narratives differ from continuous narrative by adding a second scene or

episode to the initial pre-text storyline. Both multiple narrative types can be stylistically

structured within a double narrative or a split narrative framework, but on rare occasion

can also take the organization of a quadruple narrative.2 A double narrative COntains two

distinct scenes of character and/or setting within a field of action (the page), whereas a

split narrative includes two different episodes within the same setting and field of action.

Agreed, all picture books are multiple narratives because of the distinction between the

textual narrative and the picture narrative. However, as both Nikolajeva and Perry

Nodelman maintain, to read a picture book with both verbal and visual narratives



SWhile triplet narratives are a possibility, I am not aware of a Caldecott winning picture book that uses
one.

SThe term double narrative should not be confused with Barbara Herrnstein Smith' s discussion of the
"two-leveled model of narrative," which she explores in "Narrative Versions, Narrative Theories." Her
"two major senses of narrative 'versions' that is, as retellings of other narratives and as accounts told
from a particular or partial perspective" focus on research of one story in multiple versions. She
specifically uses Cinderella as an example that has been retold numerous times (211, 227).









effectively, they should be read together for maximum comprehension. Therefore, for

my argument I will not split text and picture, or what W.J.T. Mitchell calls "the

imagetext," into separate narratives, but instead, proceed with the multiple narratives

definition established in the introductory paragraph with text and image creating one

complete narrative. Text and image become inseparable from the narrative strand of the

picture book as a whole.

While this study focuses on the limited multiple narrative examples within the

picture book genre, the most common picture books are symmetrical or complementary,

meaning the relationship between text and image is redundant or fills in each other' s gaps

(Nikolajeva & Scott 14). Both relationships usually create a continuous narrative within

a given picture book. While some picture books create captivating and experimental tales

with these relationships, this thesis focuses on the visual experimentation multiple

narratives perform. Illustrators like Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak and Chris Van Allsburg

were and are experimental, each contributing a unique style to the Hield of children' s

literature and producing radical picture books that are now mile stones and classics for

children. However, for this essay, I address the patience and aptitude for assimilating

more than one narrative, while juggling both pictures and text, which gives a distinctive

manner to multiple narratives.

Multiple narratives require more advanced analysis and attention from readers

because of their multi-layered storyline in addition to the interplay of text and image.

Multiple narratives not only require more attention, but also necessitate more time in

reading. Upon reading a text for the second time, which children inevitably do with a

good book, multiple narrative picture books tend to reveal more previously unnoticed









detail or silent characters than continuous narratives reveal. Usually, a continuous

narrative does not divide the reader' s attention up into as many components for synthesis;

it usually retains a cohesive story of complementing picture and text. Some illustrators,

particularly ones that use a comic book panel style, do divide the page up into smaller

chunks, but the overwhelming number of picture books separates text from a singular

picture. However, for reading both continuous and multiple narratives, a reader must

have a learned fundamental proficiency to read imagetext before they can comprehend a

picture book.

Picture book readers comprehend new material in light of old material already

presented by not only rotating back and forth from picture to text and back to picture on a

single page, but also through a continuous process of turning the page to assimilate the

new page with the previous ones. Picture book readers must balance and incorporate

both the written text and the visual illustrations, into a complete reading. The negotiation

between image and text creates a constant ping back and forth to integrate both into one

rational narrative read by visual literacy. By adding a second, third, or fourth narrative

possibility, the narrative juggling act becomes exceptionally difficult if all narratives are

presented simultaneously on a one or two-page spread, as they are in Black and White.

However, if the second narrative distinctly pulls away visually and departs from the first

narrative, as in The Three Pigs and Blair Lent' s illustrations in The Funny Little Woman,

then the spatial distance helps the reader follow both narratives conj ointly without them

competing for the reader's attention. Also, the reader' s ability to comprehend the

narratives increases if the reader is familiar with the opening narrative. For example, The









Three Pigs original narrative retells the traditional story of "The Three Little Pigs," a

story almost every American reader knows.

Reading multiple narratives successfully can increase the enj oyment level from a

text: "a maj or source of pleasure in picture books is the j oy of discovering a meaningful

aspect of visual information" (Nodelman 20). Visual information in picture books adds

enj oyment to the reading experience while teaching subtle forms of visual literacy a child

may receive through television and film, but may not necessarily know how to

comprehend or analyze. As narrative complexity escalates, the illustrator has expanded

boundaries to create new and original works. In turn these highly creative works are

passed to the reader to process.

Multiple narratives increase the audience's reading level complexity and visual

stimulation as a result of the artist' s intricate narrative arrangement. Multiple narrative

techniques, whether split, double or quadruple, intensify the artistic/creative difficulty of

composition. By adding a second layer of meaning to the visual narrative, the artist goes

a step beyond continuous narrative to create a multi-leveled sequence of events capturing

the reader' s interest and making them linger on the page to pour over the illustrations.

Visual details, particularly ones that break from the traditional continuous narrative style

of most picture books, encourage more audience participation by compelling the reader to

read not only the text, but also the accompanying visuals in an attempt to synthesize the

multiple parts into a coherent whole. Later in the essay we will look at specific

illustrators, analyzing their visual complexity through multiple narratives.

Multiple narratives can be potent when illustrating a retelling or a revision of a

traditional story that the general public knows, like folk and fairy tales. The audience's









foreknowledge of the base narrative helps allow illustrators the ability to visually

experiment by branching off of the traditional tale in unique directions. Also, parents and

teachers are more accepting of texts that have won awards, specifically the Caldecott

Award for picture books. Thus, the union of a traditional tale retold with original

multiple narrative illustrations merges for a winning combination with recognition from

the Caldecott committees.

While retellings seem well suited for experimentation through dual narratives, any

text can also use this technique; retellings are just exceptionally compatible because of

their place in cultural knowledge. Every text analyzed in this essay will be a Caldecott

winning folk or fairy tale retelling, except for one. Macaulay's Black and White creates

an alternative for how retellings generally incorporate multiple narratives. While

retellings give the audience foreknowledge to ground them, Black and White bewilders

and unsettles its reader by creating multiple interpretations for exactly how the story can

be read, thus making the audience actively participate to negotiate the narrative space

with increased opportunities of interpretation. Yet, even with its level of narrative

difficulty, or perhaps because of its difficulty, the 1991 Caldecott committee saw

something unique and distinguished in the illustrations and the text.

Framing this thesis within the context of the Caldecott Medal gives legitimacy and

authority to the texts discussed. Without the label of distinction that the Caldecott Medal

implies, my argument would weaken because the texts would not have the approval of

the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), which holds responsibility for

awarding the Medal, giving selected texts credence and clout.










My research blends artistic techniques with reader response to formulate the

benefits of multiple narratives within picture books. I posit that multiple narratives, still

scarce in number even though they have been used in Caldecott winners since the mid

70s, possess characteristics that creative illustrators can use to increase reader enj oyment,

time, and level of analysis. When multiple narratives are used in conjunction with

retellings, it makes it easier for the reader to navigate through a traditional pre-text.

However, multiple narratives, particularly in sylleptic picture books, can unsettle the

reader by creating difficult puzzles for the reader to negotiate. This paper analyzes the

visual trend of multiple narratives in texts that both exemplify this technique and have

also won the Caldecott Medal.

Multiple Narratives: Limitations, Techniques, and Possibilities

Critic Joseph Schwarcz in Ways of the Illustrator: Visual Communication in

Children 's Literature, defines continuous narrative the same as Lyn Lacy's split

narrative: "the protagonist of the story being illustrated (or any other figure) appears two

or more times at different places in one and the same picture, while the background and

the other elements of the picture remain more or less unchanged" (24). Rebecca Lukens

in A Critical Handbook of Children 's Literature also defines continuous narrative as the

technique "in which action is depicted through the repeated picturing of the character in

different places or motions all within the same illustration" (42). However, since neither

Schwarcz nor Lukens discuss other visual narrative possibilities, I am going to defer to

Lacy since she elaborates with other narrative possibilities. This is just one example of

terminology dissonance within the discussion of children' s picture books and illustration.

Yet, at least Schwarcz and Lacy discuss multiple narrative possibilities even if they use

differing terminology. Nodelman, even through his subtitle specifies "The Narrative Art









of Children' s Picture Books," does not address multiple narratives past the merging of

image and text.

Scholarly discussion of illustrations and narrative in children' s picture books lacks

a conversation about multiple narratives, creating a void within the overall discussion of

picture books. Schwarcz considers the following questions, "in what ways does the

illustration, an aesthetic configuration created for children, express its contents and

meanings? How do its elements combine and its structures operate so as to carry the

messages to which we are asked to relate?" (4). These questions set up the ideal forum

for a discussion on multiple narratives, but he neglects to proceed past continuous

narrative style in his terminology, while referring to illustrations and instances that break

with continuous narrative to form multiple narratives. Schwarcz does briefly address

"counterpointing," but only as a method for text and illustration to function together, not

necessarily through a larger narrative structure (17).

However, Lacy in Art and Design in Children 's Picture Books: An Analysis of

Caldecott Award-Winning Illustrations defines several techniques of multiple narratives,

including split and double narrative. Additionally, in How Picturebooks Work, Maria

Nikolej eva and Carole Scott mention and even name multiple narratives, yet they

disregard sylleptic narratives except for one or two passing references. Thankfully, they

sufficiently discuss counterpointing narratives giving future scholars and critics at least a

vocabulary to work from, a typology they acknowledge as problematic. The problem

may arise because of inconsistent usage and multiple terminology sources from semiotics

and narratology. Nonetheless, even if scholars do not yet have the exact terminology









with which to discuss multiple narratives, illustrators continue to create picture books

using this technique.

Illustrators use several artistic and stylistic techniques in conjunction with multiple

narratives to amplify a picture book' s visual effect. Artists can employ a variety of

techniques to develop multiple narratives, including: crypthesthesia, which hides images

within other images; reflection, which mirrors images to offer ambiguity of

interpretation; montage, the juxtaposition of interconnected plots, images, or ideas; and

metamorphosis, the transformation of a Eigure in stages within a single setting. Within

picture books, these artistic techniques occur within a single Hield of action, relying on the

multiplicity of images or the twofold purpose of a repeated single image to create a dual

narrative. Narrative fusion between multiple narratives happens within the Hield of action

in the text, which for picture books consist of the physical page, and in the reader' s mind

as they interpret the narrative strands. Yet, some illustrators, like Wiesner, try to visually

break the page boundary in innovative ways to enhance their narratives.

In Words About Pictures, Nodelman explains that the reader must possess a basic

learned competence to read visual narrative and interpret the pictures with any

accompanying text (11). Even simplistic picture books targeted toward babies "imply a

surprisingly sophisticated reader and viewer" because of the "codes, conventions,

assumptions, and interpretive strategies" one must apply to read these texts (35).

Interpretive strategies require negotiation between text and image a constant cycle of

thesis, antithesis, synthesis back and forth between words and pictures, each presenting

narrative information. Nodelman writes, "picture books that tell stories force viewers to

search the pictures for information that might add to or change the meaning of the









accompanying texts" (18). The reader uses the same interpretive strategies with multiple

narratives as with a single narrative; the visual search intensifies, sometimes even

doubling or quadrupling the complexity with multiple narratives in a picture book.

Evelyn Goldsmith writes, "although there is no clear agreement about what

constitutes complexity in visual material, it is generally accepted that human beings of

any age find it attractive" (399-400). A preference for complexity will ensure readers'

return to picture books with multiple narratives, while encouraging illustrators to create

more texts in this format. In visual complexity, a picture book rivals other visual

narrative forms of communication using a print media. It is, as Nodelman describes it, "a

subtle and complex form of communication," whose complexity escalates as narrative

layers are added (20).

Illustrators who creatively break a traditional narrative by illustrating multiple

narratives may also crack convention by adapting puzzle or gaming aspects into their

techniques. Some illustrators use "hidden" images. Marcia Brown illustrates her

Caldecott Award winning retelling .1/trchan-~l with "crypthesthesia--an image hidden

artistically within others to produce a double, 'hidden' meaning" (Lacy 189). .1/trchl~,l's

primary narrative portrays the world of the living in black cutout forms while the second

underlying layer of narrative in translucent white shapes, enhanced through

crypthesthesia, implies the world of the shadow or the dead, a hidden second layer to life.

This produces a backwards shadow effect with the solid figures of the world in black and

the shadows in transparent white, transposing the normal view of a shadow caused by the

sun. While.1/tackso-l is a translated narrative poem, these subtle techniques are usually

reserved for non-sequential, non-narrative stories where the visual game is the purpose,










and the textual clues add little. For example, the Where 's Waldo series or Mitsumasa

Anno' s Anno 's Journey focuses the reader' s attention and action on finding the correct

visual sign with little or no text. A non-linear, print hypertext format may be the next

step if multiple narratives ever become passe. For now, picture books that both

experiment with text and image, while breaking traditional conventions of continuous

narrative, are a rare find.

When parents or teachers discover one of the uncommon multiple narratives in

picture books, they may assume a higher difficulty level or balk at the visual differences

with traditional picture books. Therefore, because of preconceived assumptions, parents

and teachers may not share multiple narratives picture books with children unless the

books are either ALSC approved through the Caldecott Medal or of familiar folk and

fairy tales. Nodelman explains, "guides for teachers about using books with children

most frequently suggest that those books should be chosen on the basis of a child's

previous familiarity with their subj ect and style" (37). This pedagogy builds on previous

knowledge that usually overlooks new and exciting multiple narratives unless they are

teamed with a familiar aspect recognizable to teachers and parents. For example, when

paired with a classic tale, parents and teachers respond favorably to visual

experimentation, as is the case with The Three Pigs. This is particularly true with folk

and fairy tale revisions because of their unwavering place in our cultural knowledge, or to

use Carl Jung's term, our collective unconscious.

One can see the propensity for folk and fairy tales within the Caldecott Medal

winning texts. Even though Caldecott winning illustrations must be original, the

originality of the text is not included in the criteria for the award. Twenty-seven out of









the sixty-six Caldecott Medal winners are retellings. With retellings securing over one-

third of the awarded Medals and countless Honor seals, why, when the Medal rewards the

most distinguished American picture book for children, do we see a predominance of

unoriginal stories? Using revisionist tales creates a common ground between reader and

illustrator, giving the reader familiar footing and the illustrator a shared jumping off point

for visual experimentation. Retelling well-known stories in picture book form allows

parents and children foreknowledge of the story and sanctions the illustrator to

experiment visually with multiple narratives and include more multi-cultural references

and styles within a picture book space. The illustrator may continue to build on a folk or

fairy tale's multi-faceted approach by visually using a double or a split narrative

technique in their illustrations or expand on the multicultural references in regard to the

text' s cultural basis, all aided by the audience's prior knowledge.

Because the audience understands the morphology of folk and fairy tales, the

illustrator may use a recognized storyline as a mechanism to experiment with multiple

narratives, which is what David Wiesner does in The Three Pigs. He or she can do this

freely within a traditional story because the audience will retain comprehension as long

as they have an understanding of the basic narrative story or structure. Wiesner explains

this concept in his Caldecott Medal acceptance speech:

I had ideas for so many neat visual things that could happen. Characters could jump
out of the story. The pictures could fall down, be folded up, crumpled; text could
get scattered about. What I didn't have was a story. Every time I tried to turn these
ideas into a book, I ran into the same stumbling block. If I created a story and then
had the characters leave to take part in a new story, the reader would be left
wondering what was happening in the initial story. To make this idea work, I
realized that I needed a story that as many kids as possible would already know, so
that when the characters took off, the reader would leave the story behind as well
and concentrate on the new j ourney the characters would take. So, I thought, what









are the most universal stories around? In a way, any story would do. "Goldilocks"?
"Hansel and Gretel"? And then, right on cue, up stepped those three pigs. (394)

An illustrator can also effectively use multiple narratives with retellings because of

folk and fairy tales' multi-layered natures. Folk and fairy tales historically transcended a

dual audience of child and adult, usually having one standard moral for children's ears

and an implied moral or level of meaning for adults to ascertain. Writing to a dual

audience helps create situations where multiple narratives are applicable and accessible.

But the duality does not end with audience.

Sometimes multiple narratives can be expressed through culturally influenced

illustrations and stylistic narrative techniques. For example, the Dillons' culturally

inspired woodcuts form double and split narratives that illustrate the primitive West

African tale Why M~osquitoes Buzz in Peopls 'e Ears. Wiesner' s The Three Pigs sets a

revisionist, postmodern American example through the medium of a cartoon double

narrative. The American Dream of rags to riches breaks hierarchical convention by

teaching children class boundaries are impermanent. Children are taught they can write

their own destiny and become anything they want: president, congressman, astronaut.

Similarly, in The Three Pigs, the main characters grow from rags to home owners,

conquer their fears, boundaries, and enemies to write their own happily ever after ending.

Both of these Caldecott Award books use cultural settings or culturally influenced

illustrations to enhance the multiple narrative.

Illustrator Blair Lent explains that while his pictures may be suggested by cultural

Chinese sources, he has "in no way attempted to imitate Chinese painting. These

illustrations are interpretations by a Westerner of a fabled land" (Bader 458). And

interpretations are all the reader can expect, but picture book interpretations and revisions









incorporate the American, or as Lent describes himself, the Western depiction, thus

strengthening the illustrator' s connection to his American audience. Nodelman agrees:

"As in illustrations that evoke the styles of other times and other cultures, the meaning of

those styles for us has more signifying potential than what they meant for those who first

saw them, and for whom, presumably, they so expressed the values of their own culture

that their stylistic characteristics were not remarkable noticeable" (85). An American

picture book retelling is specifically effective after it has been adapted for an American

audience. Nodelman continues, if the readers are "unfamiliar with the conventions of an

alien culture, the remaking of the imagery of that culture in terms we can understand is

inevitably more meaningful than the original" (Nodelman 95). Therefore, even when

other cultural tales are used in American picture books, there must be a blending of

cultures, just like there is a blending or image and text, before the reader can comprehend

the narratives. This merger adds dimension and substance that illustrators can draw from

for multiple narratives.

In support of the genre of picture books for an American audience, the ALSC,

housed under the American Library Association (ALA), created guidelines of merit

through the formation of the Caldecott Medal. The Medal generates a level of distinction

within the genre of picture books with which to judge quality, a quality Frederic Melcher

saw demonstrated in the work of British illustrator Randolph Caldecott, after whom the

medal is named. The ALA awarded the first Caldecott Medal in 1938, sixteen years after

the other prestigious children's award, the Newbery Medal, was established. A selection

committee elects one text a year, brands the chosen text' s cover with a gold medal










signifying artistic distinction among American picture books and rewards the illustrator

with a bronze Caldecott Medal. Honor books receive a silver seal.

The Caldecott Medal is an illustrious honor, which is essentially guaranteed to be a

"distinguished" product. The winners are top illustrators who conform to the guidelines

of excellence that the ALA drafted and set high standards of excellence for other picture

books to follow. As a literary prize, the Medal helps further legitimize picture books

through this created canon of quality. Committee members employ the following criteria

when identifying a distinguished picture book: "excellence of execution in the artistic

technique employed; excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept; of

appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme, or concept; of delineation of

plot, theme, characters, setting mood or information through the picture; and excellence

of presentation in recognition of a child audience" (Terms and Criteria).

In theory, the Caldecott Medal helps structure the field of picture books and keeps

the standards of expectation high. Irene Smith asserts that it, "set[s] standards rather than

catering to them; therefore improvements in content and design can be fairy placed in

their direct line of influence" (104). The trend set by Caldecott winners has been one of

conservatism and white middle class mores, however multiple narrative texts like The

Three Pigs and Black and White expand the conservative stance to include more visually

experimental texts. Retellings, like M~osquitoes and .\hadw~,l expand the outmoded

homogenous attitude to include more positive cultural diversity. Whether experimental

or conservative, once the illustrated text has the Caldecott Medal branded to the front

cover, parents assume it to be superior to other picture books.









While the Caldecott Medal exemplifies excellence within the picture book genre,

multiple narratives have the potential to visibly exhibit compositional excellence and

experimentation to break traditional convention and challenge the reader with more

complexity for added enj oyment. By Black and White and The Three Pigs winning the

Caldecott Award, thus becoming recognized as an exemplary picture book, hopefully we

will see more multiple narratives picture books on the market. But, the ultimate decision

begins in the illustrator' s imagination to be transferred onto the page through various

artistic mediums.

Multiple Visual Narratives: Illustrators Redesigning Space

Within picture books, the illustrator becomes the visual narrator or visual

storyteller: "just as the storyteller' s point of view gave form and direction in ancient oral

tradition so too can the illustrator' s viewpoint give form and direction" (Lacy 16-17).

Several illustrators have capitalized on reworking traditional tales with their original art:

Marcia Brown won three times (1955, 1962, and 1983); while Leo and Diane Dillon

(1976, 1977) won twice with retellings. David Wiesner won the Medal twice, but only

one, The Three Pigs (2002), is a retelling. David Macaulay visually revised architectural

structures in his two Caldecott Honor texts: Cathedral (1974) and Castle (1978), but his

original sylleptic quadruple narrative won the 1991 Caldecott Committee over with its

"udder chaos," creating a groundbreaking moment in picture book multiple narratives.

The next such moment would come with Wiesner' s The Three Pigs.

Standard stories such as folktales, fairy tales, and retold classics create a controlled

narrative space that allows illustrators to experiment with visual forms and also to

explore multi-cultural styles. The traditional pre-text narrative in conjunction with

audience foreknowledge helps create limits and boundaries within which the illustrator









works. Of course, sometimes they work to seemingly destroy these boundaries, but

without these limits disorder would reign and jumble the narrative to incoherency. Each

picture book must retain some semblance of a cohesive underlying narrative structure or

the additional narratives would be chaotic. With retellings, the audience has some prior

knowledge about the story's content or narrative, therefore the illustrator can draw

attention away from the pre-text itself and onto the additional, original narrative.

The recent 2002 winner visually explores space through a double narrative while

retelling the traditional story of "The Three Little Pigs," creating the most experimental

revision to date. However, this is not the first visually experimental retelling. Several

other tales take visual liberties with space to experiment with narrative, breaking

continuous narrative into a split narrative or double narratives and sometimes both. Other

texts than the ones I specifically focus on use multiple narratives. For example, The Fool

of the World and the Flying Ship (1969) illustrated by Uri Shulevitz and retold by Arthur

Ransome uses a split narrative technique to help create a fantasy setting with illustrations

of the flying ship. However, the texts chosen reflect the best use of multiple narrative

techniques for this thesis. For example, the Dillons' illustrate folktales with not one

narrative technique, but several including both split and double narratives.

Split and Double Narratives: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears

Leo and Diane Dillon' s use of multiple narratives is a result of the cooperation and

input of the two-person illustrating team. According to their Caldecott Medal acceptance

speech, they consider their collaborative illustrations to be, essentially, done by a third

person, a collective merging of their talents. Together they developed a collaborative

artistic style of woodcutting, which can be seen in their two back to back Caldecott

Medal winners, Why M~osquitoes Buzz in People 's Ears:E~~~~EEEEE~~~~EEEE A West A~frican Tale (1976) and









Ashanti to Zulu: Afr~ican Trad'itions (1977). Their artistic style was influenced by the

"African batik, with its variety of repeated patterns and traditional motifs" (Lacy 186).

The African influence compliments the West African folktale, while according to

Nodelman, block printing, "associates these pictures with the static convention of folk

art, which tends to be more oriented to pattern than action" (72). The Dillons' artistic

style is a direct result of their partnership and cultural influences.

Their style helped them win their first Caldecott Medal for Why M~osquitoes Buzz in

People 's EarsE~~~~EEEEE~~~~EEEE which is unique for both the culturally influence and the multiple narrative

techniques. Lacy writes, "the divergence from the norm in M~osquitoes is, then, not found

in a truly different book layout but in the Dillons' use of the artistic element space and in

their unique, cinematic uses of continuous narrative, split narrative, and double narrative"

(193). Because of the multiple techniques employed, we will disregard the continuous

narrative aspect because of its commonality and begin with their use of double narrative.

Retold by Verna Aardema, Why M~osquitoes Buzz in People 's Ears: A West

Afcrican Tale retells a West African Tale about why pesky mosquitoes insist on flying

around people' ears. One day the mosquito flies over to the iguana and proceeds to tell

the iguana a lie. This irritates the iguana to the point where he puts sticks in his ears so as

not to hear at all. From there, a negative chain of events occurs, which end in the death

of a baby owl. Because the owlet has died, the mother owl refuses to hoot and wake up

the sun, causing a great disturbance among the animals. The lion calls an animal council

to ascertain the lack of day and the story proceeds from there like "The House That Jack

Built," constantly repeating each animal's action and reaction until they discover the










culprit--the mosquito. His punishment is to buzz in people's ears asking, "Zeee! Us

everyone still angry at me?" (25).

The Dillons' illustrate double narrative within the context of storytelling,

specifically at an animal council scene in M~osquitoes. The double narrative elaborates

the animals' stories about what caused the negative chain of events that progress

throughout the book. Black, night scenes of the animal council crowd the left hand side

of the page, while the visual exaggerations of what the animals say are interpreted to the

right hand side of the page. The exaggerations are framed with black, usually by black

trees, but have a background of sky blue, visually distinguishing them from the primary

narrative. Nodelman's reasoning for these scenes' construction centers on the disruption

between the verbal and the visual of storytelling: "this discontinuity between two parts of

the same picture clearly marks off the depiction of the storytelling from the depiction of

the story being told; it provides basic information we need to understand a complex

picture" (Nodelman 131-32).

While the discontinuity between the left hand side of the spread and the right hand

side of the spread does provide crucial information for interpreting the double narrative,

Nodelman neglects to mention the textual inadequacy of the animal's stories creating

gaps that must be filled visually. He also specifically classifies the spread as a whole

picture with two parts, making a passing reference to two distinct narratives, the

storytelling and the story, without classifying the nature of the illustration as a

representation of counterpointing multiple narratives.

However, this lack of classification by Nodelman may be a result of a lack of

terminology with which to address multiple narratives that we have already discussed.










Yet he does use the available terminology incorrectly. Nodelman in Words About

Pictures discounts Lyn Lacy's visual interpretation of a picture book in order to prove her

analysis revealed opposite results than what she concluded (126). But in this example,

Lacy would have an opportunity for rebuttal. Nodelman incorrectly describes a scene in

Why M~osquitoes Buzz in People 's Ears as a "continuous narrative," a term which he cites

from Joseph Schwarcz (166).

Nodelman specifically references the first python illustration as a continuous

narrative: "we also see the same characters twice in different locations and must

understand that the depiction on the left comes first in order to understand the story, but

here the figures are sometimes immediately beside each other and sometimes even

partially superimposed on each other" (167). The Dillons' illustrate split narrative

through the character of the python. He talks to the iguana on one page, while on the

next page he crosses the gutter and slips down the rabbit hole, all on the same length of

tale with two heads. This creates an M.C. Escher visual effect for children to pause and

consider. An effect that is not just a case of images superimposed, but a key use of split

narrative as Lacy accurately validates (193).

Mosquitoes offers examples of metamorphosis, "in which the stages of

transformation for a figure are presented in a single setting" and montage, which is "used

to compress within a scene a set of interconnected plots or ideas" (Lacy 189). Marcia

Brown's Once a2~ouse. .. (1962), a fable from India, also incorporates metamorphosis

to illustrate the physical change of a tiger back into a mouse. Both tiger and mouse are

woodcut on the same spread, showing the same character in two different manifestations,

on the same wordless page spread. The main character, a magical hermit who saved the










mouse and gradually transformed him into a tiger reverses the process because of the

tiger' sungratefulness.

On the left hand side of the spread in Once a M~ouse .. stands the hermit with

arms outstretched toward the tiger and mouse, casting his spell. The tiger's body crosses

the page gutter, but heads away from the hermit into the woods to disappear and hide his

shame. The mouse, at a full gallop, seems to run out of the tiger' s mouth and into the

woods as monkeys and other forest creatures watch hidden in the trees. The use of color

binds all three characters together in their magical moment of transformation. With a red

sunset, maroon ground, and green woods, the only white space on the page encircles the

mouse, defines the tiger's strips, and clothes the hermit, visually determining their

interconnectedness through color.

This metamorphosis visually shows the physical loss of the mouse, which

transforms from a muscular tiger back into a tiny rodent within the same field of action.

However, M~osquito 's metamorphosis with the double narrative of the night storytelling

scene does not depict reality; instead it shows what the animals' perceive. For the

audience to accurately view the animals' perceptions, they need to view the

metamorphosis on the same page spread, playing on the duplicity of a narrative through

the "idea that more than one image can be presented within a single field of action" (Lacy

189).

Another visual addition can come in the form of a visual narrative that has little or

no textual backing. This creates a separate visual narrative outside the primary narrative.

One of the best-loved children' s books of all time, Goodnight M~oon by multiple

Caldecott Honor winner Margaret Wise Brown, added a silent character to fascinate










children. Within each illustration, there is a small, gray, "young mouse" that appears in

different locations about the room. His little whiskered nose points out from odd places,

seemingly to encourage children to play a game of Where 's Waldo? with him. As

Barbara Bader aptly summarizes, "hardly noticeable, he is never unnoticed" (259). The

mouse adds a new visual narrative to the pretext, but retains distance from the continuous

narrative of bedtime rituals.

Similar to the quiet, little gray mouse in Goodnight Moon, the Dillons' created two

animals, a little red bird and an antelope, which silently move independently from the

textual narration, thus creating their own personal narrative, a visual story within a story.

However, in M~osquitoes the little red bird is not as completely separate from the

continuous narrative as it may seem to the casual reader. The bird serves a purpose of

pointing out the significant action or object within a spread with his pointed, triangular

beak; "at one point, for instance, the bird's beak points at the mosquito, which has

carefully hidden itself behind a leaf" (Nodelman 128). The bird flies around, adding a

second visual layer to every spread since he is the only character seen on every spread.

Similarly, the antelope in M~osquitoes creates a narrative all his own apart from the

text. Instead of pointing to important details, he seeks a connection with the reader in a

more forward manner, highlighting his own importance. The antelope's gaze focuses not

on the storyline action like the bird's beak, but on the reader. He continually tries to

catch the reader's attention with his wide eyes and toothy grin, both directed at the

reader. Even when all of the other animals hoot and howl in disgust to punish the

mosquito, we see the antelope in the background, bright-eyed and smiling, the only

animal grinning instead of baring teeth or scowling. Unlike the red bird, the antelope is










textually acknowledged once: "the antelope was sent to fetch him" (Aardema 19).4 This

brief reference adds credence to the character, giving readers a brief textual clue to the

antelope's presence in case they had previously missed him and his showing off.

In Mosquitoes, the red bird functions as a sign pointing to action and the antelope

extends the narrative outside of itself and the animal council to include the reader in a

more intimate connection through gaze. Macaulay's Black and White has a similar

rodent, a small gray squirrel, in "Waiting Game," who imitates and reflects the absurdity

of the character' s actions by mimicking them. If the characters put on newspaper hats,

the squirrel has a newspaper hat on. If the characters applaud, then the squirrel applauds.

He is similar to Wise's gray mouse, dashing about the page, always to be found in a new

location.

Children are taught to read at a young age, but they are mainly educated in school

to read words. Because of the lack of text to identify these unidentified, nameless

characters, the audience must make cognitive leaps to correctly analyze the multiple

narratives presented: visually, textually, and combined. Nodelman explains that without

basic understandings of visual and verbal literacy, "children with little experience of

books scan pictures [. .] and consequently focus their attention on what are meant to be

insignificant details" (7). He is both right and wrong. Yes, children do need certain

skills to effectively navigate a picture book. However, as the little red bird illustrates,

there are very few insignificant details thrown into picture books, especially Caldecott

winners. And sometimes, the details and additional characters add a second narrative to


SPagination begins on the first illustrated page.









the original pre-text, adding to the reader' s experience both enj oyment and an added layer

for analysis.

Quadruple Sylleptic Narratives: Black and White

Multiple narratives need more sophisticated examination and attention from readers

because of their multi-layered story. In Black and White, after briefly explaining the

various narrative possibilities, Macaulay begins with this warning: "careful inspection of

both words and pictures is recommended" (i). While this quote could be printed at the

beginning of every picture book, the cautionary beginning is pertinent to Black and White

because of its increased cognitive level in negotiating the puzzling, atypical, multiple

narratives to combine them into related stories. Most people cannot read Black and

White one time through and be finished or satisfied. The reader, especially the child

reader, experiments with different sequential possibilities, probably first reading the

entire book, then each of the four potential individual narratives: "Seeing Things,"

"Problem Parents," "A Waiting Game" and "Udder Chaos."

Macaulay, in his Caldecott Acceptance speech, remarks, "it is designed to be

viewed in its entirety, having its surface 'read all over.' It is a book of and about

connections between pictures and between words and pictures" (410). Yet, he depicts

the only true use of sylleptic multiple narratives within the Caldecott canon by having

four narratives that can be read independent of each other. The uniqueness of the text

revolves around the fact that while the four stories can be read as independent, combined

they create an intertextuality of connectedness through overlapping situations, visual

motifs and color. Macaulay begins his text with the following preface as a warning: "this

book appears to contain a number of stories that do not necessarily occur at the same

time. Then again, it may contain only one story." (i).









In case the reader missed the read warning box on the title page, Macaulay visually

shows the overlapping nature and maneuverability between the various narratives by

having the thief from "Udder Chaos" climb down a sheet rope, crossing and casting a

shadow on the title page for "A Waiting Game." All four narratives have unique artistic

styles and predominant colors to set them apart. Yet in the penultimate spread, these

styles and colors fade into black, white, and gray, erasing literal panel boundaries for just

one instance and then revert back to distinct storylines on the final spread (26). However

on the final spread, some of the intertextuality remains because the robber from "Udder

Chaos" stands on the train platform of "A Waiting Game."

Independent of each other, the stories may seem no different than other narratives,

but combined and read together, the four narratives in Black and White intertwine

temporally and spatially through odd moments in characters' lives, through the use of

black and white hues, and through repeated motifs of trains, newspapers, and cows that

wander in and out of various panels. This creates a fractured, full-bodied narrative, split

into four perspectives, told by four different narrators at different times. Yet sometimes,

the physical panel boundaries break down, deleting line and panel restrictions, thus

illustrating the interconnectedness of the four narratives.

Black and White won the Caldecott for its illustrations in 1991. This is the first

instance of blatant multiple narratives, used in an experimental fashion. Two years later,

The Stinkry Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales illustrated by Lane Smith and

written by Jon Scieszka, wins the 1993 Caldecott Honor Seal for fractured fairy tales that

breaks narrative convention. The Stinkry Cheese Man bridges the retellings









counterpointing multiple narratives with sylleptic choices, thus giving a median example

between Black anzd White and The Three Pigs.

Black and White manipulates four complementing narratives; The Stink~y Cheese

Man manages a fractured story book with distinct fairy tales such as "The Really Ugly

Duckling" and "Little Red Running Shorts" linked together through the peculiarity of

their revisions and the persistent narrator of Jack; The Three Pigs begins with a

traditional narrative, deviates from that narrative into the marginal space, and then

eventually returns to the opening narrative to alter it in light of the other narratives

presented. All three texts have at least one example of chaotic typography where the

literal words are askew and falling down the page, illustrating the unstable nature of a

multiple narrative and its potential to change and rewrite existing narratives.

Postmodern Multiple Narratives: The Three Pigs

One of the most experimental Caldecott Award winning texts is The Three Pigs

(2002) by David Wiesner. It experiments with form through the medium of a picture

book, challenging readers and breaking into boundaries not explored before, while

grounding itself in a well-known story. As the chair of the 2002 Caldecott Award

Selection Committee, Kate McClelland describes The Three Pigs:

Pigs burst through the pages' boundaries and soar into new dimensions.
Transformations occur as the pigs boldly enter new stories, make friends, and
ultimately control their own fate. Witty dialogue and physical humor make this a
selection that will have youngsters squealing with delight. Through Wiesner's
vision and artistic virtuosity, The Three Pigs celebrates possibility. (www.ala.org)

By including experimental texts in the Caldecott canon, the selection committees

show that experimental behavior is acceptable, but only under the correct guidelines.

Wiesner' s visual narrative both revises and transforms the traditional version of "The

Three Little Pigs," utilizing the margin space and activity therein to displace and rewrite









both the original text and conventional illustrations. The revision happens inside the pre-

text panels; the transformation occurs outside in the marginal gutter creating parallel

visual narratives.

In Wiesner' s acceptance speech for the 2002 Caldecott award, he asserts, "The

Three Pigs is the culmination of nearly a lifetime of thinking about a particular visual

concept. And it all started with Bugs Bunny" (393). He proceeds to describe an exact

episode of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd where they run out of the cartoon and into blank

white space. Additionally, in his forward to Wordless Almost Wordless Picture Books: A

Guide, Wiesner credits the black and white woodcut images of Lynd Ward' s adman 's

Drum for teaching him "many things about conveying information visually and about

pacing and rhythm of a story" (vii). The reader of Wiesner's book can see these

influences of the graphic narrative styles of comics and cartoons in his adventurous pigs,

all styles that effectively use multiple narratives. Wiesner demonstrates that multiple

narratives, when used in conjunction with a folk or fairy tale revision, amplify the

retelling's multi-leveled nature. After reading this picture book, no child will ever see

"The Three Little Pigs" in the same light.

Wiesner' s The Three Pigs develops fairy tale characters that not only step out of

their archetypal roles, but also gain agency to create their own ending after exploring

multiple stories. He capacitates the three pigs to jump out of their framed story book

pages, explore their margin spaces, and share their freedom with others, thus concluding

the multiple narratives in a politically correct, multi-culturally-embracing, reinterpreted,

happily ever after ending. Wiesner empowers his characters to break free from their

original frames and scripted roles thus regaining their personal voice by controlling and









retelling their individual stories outside of the prescribed boundaries of the pre-text

narrative. Yet, they Einally integrate back into their original story line, changing not only

the visuals, but also the text. Within the constructed confines of a fairy tale (these

boundaries literally beginning at "once upon a time" and ending with "and they all lived

happily ever after") Wiesner assembles counterpointing narratives to supplement the

symmetrical narrative of the traditional tale.

The first narrative, the pre-text that begins the book, conveys the traditional story

"The Three Little Pigs." The second narrative augments the first, moving from frames

into white space surrounding the first narrative. The true ingenuity of this text comes

when the two narratives meet, combining both stories into an unusual, yet at the same

time, traditional ending. Wiesner, through a comic framed parallel narrative,

springboards from a traditional fairy tale, revising "The Three Little Pigs" to suit a

postmodern viewing audience who can appreciate that not all stories are linear, and not

all tales end exactly as expected. Children's literature scholar Jack Zipes, writing

generally of fairy tale retellings in Sticks and Stones notes: "as they explore neglected

issues and dimensions [. .], they define themselves in relation to these traditional pre-

texts and thus provide a new understanding [. .] while determining and predetermining

the fairy tale in contemporary society" (123). The three little pigs, once outside of the

pre-text, develop through exploration and experience, providing new understanding and

meaning to their story and setting, eventually returning to their original story to impact it

with their newfound agency.

Will Eisner notes that usually, "the first page of a story functions as an

introduction. It is a launching pad for the narrative, and for most stories it establishes a









frame of reference" (62). However, Wiesner creates a false expectation, setting up the

boundaries of a traditional fairy tale only to obliterate this expectation. The first part of

The Three Pigs develops like a storyboard. The reader opens the book to a traditional

picture book beginning: text and illustration incorporated into one picture with

illustration that supports the expected text. And, it also begins with the cliche, "once

upon a time" (Wiesner 1). The divided frames or balloons are not yet visible. Word

balloons are only used when the pigs step out of the story frames into the marginal gutter,

or "space between panels" (Eisner 163). In The Three Pigs, the art form does not initially

dominate the reader' s attention, but as we extend beyond the frame of the original

narrative, the visuals become increasingly more important. Continuing through the story

there is a greater "interdependency of words (text) and image (art)" (Eisner 124).

This interdependency achieves an elevated level when the pigs begin their second

narrative. It occurs in the white space outside the panels that constitute the margin or

gutter between panels, the proverbial space between the lines. Eisner proposes, "if a rule

is possible, I would ordain that 'what goes INSIDE the panel is PRIMARY! '" (63).

Wiesner' s key achievement in narration, however, comes not inside his panels but outside

them. The panel may be considered a "single-sequence container," within the field of

action, but since Wiesner's narrative expands outside the frame, the whole page becomes

what Eisner terms a "super-panel [...] best employed for parallel narratives," the exact

function for which Wiesner uses the super-panel (80). Eisner continues,

In a plot where two independent narratives are shown simultaneously, the problem
of giving them equal attention and weight is addressed by making the panel that
controls the total narrative the entire page itself. The result, a set of panels within
panels, attempts to control the reader' s line of reading so that two storylines may be
followed synchronously. (80)









Wiesner not only relies on the stylistic choice of panels within panels to convey his

double narration, but he also depends on the reader' s familiarity with the traditional tale

"The Three Little Pigs," the text of which is not included in this book in its entirety.

Ironically, the double narrative begins not with the pig initiating his escape from the

story, but with the wolf who huffs and puffs and blows the little pig out of the frame. The

pig responds factually, "hey! He blew me right out of the story!" (Wiesner 3).

After this spatial rupture occurs, there is a breakdown between text and illustration

in the pre-text narrative. Discrepancies between text and illustration appear with these

alterations; the text within the panels informs the reader that the wolf ate the pig, yet the

pig's involvement outside the panel confirms the truth in the pig's escape as he leaves

behind a bewildered looking wolf.

Wiesner uses the illustrations within the panels as marginal gloss to contradict the

"original" text. After the first pig is blown out of the panel, the text of the narrative

remains consistent with the original, but the illustrations accompanying the text alter to

prove what actually happens--the wolf does not eat the pig because the pig has been

blown out of the wolf s visual plane. Therefore, in the illustration, the wolf shrugs his

shoulders in disbelief, wondering where the pig has gone, while the text affirms that he

"ate the pig up" (Wiesner 3, 5). This discontinuity between illustration and text within

the panel continues throughout the entire first narrative.

Moreover, the pre-text panels are not the only instance where this glitch occurs; we

also see it in the subsequent narratives that the pigs jump into. Graphically, the knight in

the chivalric fantasy scratches his head and wonders where the dragon is while the text

asserts that the prince "drew his sword, and slew the mighty dragon" (28). Words remain









fixed in tradition; illustration conforms. This could be accounted for because the

traditional tale is not Wiesner' s wording, therefore he has no control over the original

text, only his unique illustrations. Once his illustrations (the pigs) gain agency through

their exploration, they secure control over the original text, molding it to fit their

paradigm. The three pig's story stagnates on the page, unable to change or move away

from the "original" until they learn to wander in the margin becoming their own

characters. Here they are given agency to become the characters they desire, not the

characters scripted for them. They replace the original text with their own version,

literally replacing the physical text by knocking the letters off the page before hanging

them back up again.

While the pigs are wayward, escaping their original narrative and wandering within

the margin, they also complete the original text by gaining their own voice to finalize the

original text with the same expected wording of "and they all lived happily ever after"

(Wiesner 38). But they do this through an unexpected means. The text of the original

tale is unaware of their presence in the margin, evident by the text continuing as if the

pigs are still in the panes, the illustrations are vividly aware that the pigs have escaped

into the gutter. They both digress from the original text, while at the same time

completing that text with a fuller explanation through multiple interpretations of their

final panel. Without the marginal gloss of the pigs, the story would have remained just a

simple telling of "The Three Little Pigs" with new illustrations by Wiesner. The addition

of the pigs playing in the margin, the tension created between the original story and the

use of marginal space unifies the parallel narratives into one cohesive, unique tale of

textual displacement and revision.










The pigs gain distinction from the pre-text once they are outside of the panels and

in the margin. The most evident and instantaneous change that occurs as the pigs retreat

out of the rectangular panel is their appearance, which helps visually separate the two

narratives. Visual segregation with varying artistic styles, colors, texture, and space is a

common way to distinguish between multiple narratives. Blair Lent uses a similar visual

distinction of color and detail to separate his parallel narratives in his 1973 Caldecott

Medal winner, The Fwmny Little Woman.

The Three Pigs opens with the expected cartoon style animation within the frames.

This style includes simplified, clean lines; uniform pastel colors; and a lack of detail. As

the pigs step out of the frame into the white marginal space, they become less cartoonish

as the style begins to more closely reflect reality. Details such as multiple colors, hair,

and shadows are employed to create a realistic affect. But this is not the only change

between the first narrative in the panel and the second narrative in the margin.

Differing typography in the font of the text delineates narratives. In the marginal

second narrative, the New Century Schoolbook font of the pre-text converts to a more

conversational typeset, illustrating the transition from didactic fairy tale to freedom and

exploration through the font choice. Also, inside the panel, the pigs' scripted text is

framed with quotation marks denoting their speech. Yet, all three pigs have the exact

same dialogue: "not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin" (Wiesner 2, 5). Hairs absent

from their stylized faces until they enter the margin where they are drawn with an

abundance of body hair. Outside of the panel, each pig speaks individually through word

balloons, adjusting the method of speech to differentiate between the first and second

narrative. This marginal gutter space thus becomes more realistic than the contrived










story in the frame, granting the pigs agency to begin creating their own story once outside

their restricted, first narrative.

This exploration of self-identity leads them through other constructed tales, like the

nursery rhyme and knight' s tale, yet within these other tales, their presence has the power

to alter illustrations, just as they altered illustrations within their own story. Only when

the adventure concludes are they able to also alter text within the panels and rewrite their

own story within the context of the original narrative.

Yet the pigs do not escape into the margin without a narrative attempt to recapture

the traditional within-the-frame fairy tale storyline, depicted with one standard

illustration with a frame per page. After the first pig escapes, the following page consists

of a full page spread, visually forcing the story back into its first symmetrical narrative

with illustration submitting to and illuminating text. However, the first little pig alerts his

companion to the newfound world between the panels (Wiesner 4). The pigs then begin

to explore their ability to disturb and move the panels, as seen in the wolf s panel tilted

askew (6). Expanding their level of control over the panels, and simultaneously over

their original narrative, the realistically rendered pigs fold the two-dimensional wolf up

into a paper airplane, moving on with their new life. It is interesting to note that the pigs

rely on their past narrative as a mode of transportation to search their new space, thus

why these multiple narratives form a counterpointing picture book in place of the

sylleptic picture book.

Although there is a deconstructive aspect of them riding on traditional voice,

Wiesner uses this paper airplane as a way of connecting the two narratives. There is not

a single spread absent of a panel in some shape or form: the margin cannot stand alone









without a panel to create a margin; the second narrative cannot exist without the first.

Throughout the exploration, a spatial relationship between panel and margin is retained.

The pig' s exploration takes the form of a maj or wordless sequence in Wiesner' s book.

Here, the pigs disregard all semblances of rigid, rectangular panels when they fold up the

wolf. They also disregard the super-panel, or the page boundaries, by flying out of the

reader' s line of sight and off the page, thus symbolizing their learned knowledge of how

to break the rules and gain a euphoric freedom. Wiesner illustrates this exaltation

through their visages displayed while the pigs contentedly coast on the airplane

delighting in their surrounding and liberty (12-13).

Whether or not the nearly wordless flight scene was the pig's happiest moments or

not, it is still the central sequence of motion and discovery that enlightens the entire

second narrative. This narrative develops around the central flight, which visually stands

out because of the mammoth white space allowed on the double spreads. White space

could be seen as the lack or absence of background, liberating the pigs even more from

the pre-text setting. In the forward to Wordless/Almost Wordless Picture Books: A

Guide, David Wiesner self-reflects, "early on, I realized that creating a sequence of

images was more interesting than just a single picture. Creating a wordless picture book

requires great care and clarity in every aspect of the pictures making. Because the images

are the 'text,' everything in them must contribute not only to the advancement of the plot

but to revealing the emotions and feelings of the characters." (vii).

By disregarding the field of action, one pig shatters the imaginary fourth wall by

informing his companions, "I think .. someone's out there," speaking to the reader (20).

This creates a higher level of involvement between the reader and the pig, reversing the










voyeuristic gaze from the character back onto the reader. Because the pig has been

allotted agency over his domain in the margin, we, the readers, become another narrative

possibility he could enter. By visually identifying the reader through his gaze and then

verbally affirming the reader' s presence, the pig has the possibility of joining our reality

in the same way that he is about the join a nursery rhyme. Even though the pig is located

off in the margin from the original three little pigs tale, once he recognizes the world

outside of the picture book, the full spread of the picture book becomes a panel that he

could escape from. While this might be impossible for a printed text to convey, it would

be an action that one might expect in an animated cartoon or hypertext.

The white space of the marginal second narrative not only theoretically reflects

back on the original narrative, but also becomes a haven for the pigs, a place to escape

being eaten by the wolf. The first pig persuades the second pig to j oin the second

narrative by telling him, "come on--it' s safe out here, away from the restrictive pre-text

(Wiesner 5). The pigs define their panels as confining and restricting in contrast to the

openness of the white space where the one pig exclaims, "now we have room to move"

(7). It is at this point that the pigs begin developing into fully rounded individuals with

specific and unique characteristics, although they do retain some characteristics from the

original tale. For example, the third pig who built his house out of bricks continues to be

the wisest pig of the three even outside of the pre-text. In the margin they are given

choices, not scripted lines, yet these choices come after the developmental preparation of

the pigs.

Once outside the original panels of the first narrative, the three pigs navigate the

marginal space of the second narrative, learning to interact with their new surroundings.









Accustomed to a rigid, rectangular panel guarding the confines of their existence, the pigs

first advance through a tremendous void of white space, clearing the Hield of action from

color and form. When speaking of the extensive white space in his text, Wiesner says,

"but in the context of the story, that emptiness creates as much of a sense of place as does

an elaborately detailed illustration." (395). The white space is a distinct place--the

margin of the first narrative and the setting for the second. It may be absent of any drawn

setting, but it is a means to interact the pre-text with other narratives not their own. After

flying around in the margin, they traverse through two independent narratives: a

borderless nursery rhyme and a multi-paneled fantasy. They conclude back in the

standard rectangular panel of the first narrative. Each additional narrative escalates the

pigs' experience and agency. The marginal second narrative transports the pigs between

other narratives, but the original pre-text narrative constructs the organizational structure

that unites each different story, connecting it to the next narrative.

After the airplane ride in the second narrative, the pigs' first encounter with another

story happens gradually over three spreads, slowly introducing them back to storybook

characters, set panels, and scripted narratives. After their plane crash, the wisest pig

notices a green tint at the top of the right hand page. He is the only one who notices and

informs his two brothers, "hey!i Over here!" (19). The wisest brother and the second

wisest brother slowly stretch the independent, third narrative down into their space until

the full page constitutes a new story completely removed from "The Three Little Pigs."

Yet this story is a return back to the basics of reading through a baby's nursery rhyme.

"Hey Diddle Diddle's" illustrations are elementary with pastel colors and little detail into









which the pigs integrate, matching the color palette and style of the nursery rhyme

illustrations.

Additionally, the nursery rhyme's panel is oval and fluid, bleeding into the white

space instead of having a rigid border. The shape and lack of a border ease the pigs into

their first attempt to invade another story. While they are able to enter the story, they

neither talk to the characters nor directly influence any character. Moreover, the

illustration continues to faithfully represent the text. The cat with the fiddle daintily steps

out of the panel after her part in the rhyme finishes (23). Yet, the pigs do not have a

direct influence on the third narrative: the cat' s curiosity prompts her to follow their lead,

step out of her fiddle solo, and j oin the pigs in the marginal white space (23). Later, as

the pigs gain experience, they gain power over which texts they enter and power to effect

elements within those narratives.

The fourth and final narrative they encounter depicts a black and white chivalric

fantasy. This tale has neither the rigid border of the fairy tale, nor the fluid border of the

nursery rhyme. As the middle stage, this medieval text has panels within panels that

create a buffer zone for ease of entry. The multiple panels create a second layer of gutter

space for the pigs to navigate and familiarize themselves with before delving into the

actually text (26). And the pigs do just that. In a smaller, less prominent panel, we can

see all three pigs riding on the dragons back drawn in the same pen and ink crisp style in

which the dragon is drawn.

Additionally, the pigs directly influence the dragon to leave his panel. The

situation of the fantasy text allows the pigs to actualize power in aid of the dragon

because he is in the same situation of danger as the pigs were in with the wolf. The pigs









actively rescue the dragon from being slain by the prince, physically pushing him out of

the frame. While the pigs indirectly influence the cat who willingly joins them, they

forcibly alter the dragon's fate. But because the dragon has the help and experience of

the pigs, he does not have to escape in stages, first through his own story gutter and then

into the larger marginal white space. Instead, he leaves directly into the greater margin,

curling his talons over his story's gutter, but never breaking the dimensional space of the

gutter to enter his second narrative (27).

Once in the marginal second narrative, although the dragon and the cat stylistically

take on the attributes of realism in their drawing, their speech remains that of their tale.

This discontinuity creates a dissonance between text and illustration. The cat sings the

chorus, "hey diddle diddle!" and the dragon eloquently thanks the pigs, "many thanks for

rescuing me, O brave and noble swine" (Wiesner 29). The cat and dragon are not

transgressing prescribed roles because they are not exploring their new identity in the

second narrative yet. Also, both bring props from their original narratives with them as

narrative links: the fiddle and the rose, which they carry till the end of the picture book.

They not only bring these props along with them, but also actively use them in the final

panel once the characters are settled into the pig's brick house: the cat plays her fiddle

and the dragon displays his golden rose as the table's, and the whole panel's, centerpiece.

Their inability to leave behind their old narratives has possible consequences that may

leave the entourage in shambles, but before this Einal panel, the characters attempt to

reconstruct the fairy tale with an ending more suitable to their liking.

Attempting to reestablish the original narrative of "The Three Little Pigs," the

frame spreads back into a full-page panel (Wiesner 36). Here the additional characters









enter the three little pigs' realm, scare the wolf, and scatter the text of the traditional fairy

tale thus merging all narratives into one collective, ur-narrative. By gathering up the

scattered letters, the pigs and company can visually and textually reconstruct not only

their new dwelling, but also the ending to their collective narrative. With dragon and cat

in tow, the pigs reenter their pre-text home. When the pigs enter their original story, it is

in the same panel from which the last pig left. Although the first narrative is

chronologically in the same place (the text has not altered), the illustration of the wolf

within the panel is different. The positions of the wolf within each panel connote

instability, thus reflecting that what has occurred outside the panel--the pigs' exploration

of their surroundings and the exercise of their own voices--has affected the traditional

narrative. Indeed this schism between text and illustration further enforces the concept

that the pictures not only fail to reinforce the text, but also suggest a second narrative that

parallels the original.

The blending of the narratives occurs in the final panels, taking aspects from each

one to create a final unified whole. Even though the pigs resume their storybook

coloration once they are inside the pre-text panel, they retain agency over their destiny

and story by controlling the text of the original story. However, once back in the pre-text

story, none of the animals continue to speak, either through quoted dialogue within the

rewritten text or through the word balloons used while they were in the margin. In fact,

they never speak in any of the paneled stories. To save the dragon, the pig must first

stick his head out of the panel into the margin to regain the power of speech (27).

Without dialogue, the blending of the two narratives culminates with a merger in the last

full-page panel. However, because it is a little pig placing the lettering up, we can










assume, even though there are no quotes or word balloons, that this is his voice--his

curtailed voice.

In the final panel, the text remains incomplete: "and they all lived happily ever aft

[. .]" (Wiesner 38). The general reader may disregard this incompleteness and

subconsciously fill in the last two letters: "e" and "r," which the pig clutches in his hoof.

So driven by the traditional narrative ending, it may not occur to the reader that instead of

saying "after," the final complete narrative concludes with "aft."

The Oxford English Dictionary defines "aft" as "behind, in the rear" and "of time:

back from the present, earlier." Do the characters only live happily ever after in their

previous, individual narratives? "After" is also defined in the OED through time as "of

time" or "next, following," the opposite definition of "aft". If they were only happy

earlier, then what is the cause of their incomplete happily ever after now in their

combined narrative? Or, does the little pig not have the time or ability to complete the

word?

The answer may be found in the dragon's gaze and countenance. Every other

character in the last panel looks up expectantly at the little pig, but the dragon, while

clutching the soup barrel in his talons, longingly hungers after the pig with a look of

devious desire on his face. This is not the first time that the dragon has looked hungrily

at the pig. When the two first meet in a sub-panel of the chivalric fantasy, the dragon

watches the pig with the same mischievous grin, while the pig contentedly rides on the

dragon's back (Wiesner 26). In his original narrative, the dragon constitutes the villain

who must be eradicated from the land. Why should the dragon lose his villainous

character role just because he steps into the marginal second narrative? None of the other









characters have a drastic personality change, only a period of growth. The dragon still

guards the golden rose even though the knight can not reach it, thus showing evidence

that his old nature remains with him even in the new collective narrative. Within the final

panels, evil has not been totally eliminated from the story as evidenced by the wolf sitting

outside the window. It is quite possible that the dragon may take over the role of the

wolf, not in huffing and puffing (though dragons are known for that with their fire-

breathing ways), but in eating the little pig up.

"Aft" also holds a nautical or aeronautical denotation according to the OED, "of

motion or direction: towards the stem, into the hinder part of the ship" or "of position: in

or near the hinder part or stern of a ship. Also of an aircraft." Note that it is not only a

ship that uses aft, but an aircraft as well. The pig placing the final letters may be

referencing the paper airplane they used previously in the text. One illustration in

particular shows the aft of the airplane as well as the hindquarters and tails of the three

pigs (Wiesner 14). Combing both meanings of "aft" (earlier and in the hinder part of an

aircraft) confirms the exact moment of their happiness--their airplane ride. This is the

moment when they are euphoric from escaping the wolf with their lives intact, and are on

an exciting journey through uncharted marginal space. In the white space they are in a

type of collective unconscious, linking to every narrative. Here they are free travelers

with unlimited access to narratives. We can see an even greater connection with the

enj oyment of the white space and my interpretation of aft because the pig placing the

letters is the same pig that first initiates exploration of the white space (9) and then

exploration into other stories (21). Him initiating this journey shows his enthusiasm,

which later tumns into longing as he reflects back. His longing constitutes the final










merger of the two parallel narratives. However, the pigs return to their pre-text, but not

without nostalgia for the happy days within the margin's white space.

In Sticks and Stones, Zipes concludes that, "it is important to consider the unique

aesthetic modalities that are employed to transform the ideological meanings of the pre-

text, and it is especially significant to consider how illustrations and texts are used to

counter each other in unique ways" (108-109). He also notes, "the most exciting work

that is done in the illustration [. of] picture books involves the use of revised stories

and sophisticated imagery to work against and question the pre-text" (116). Quite

clearly, Wiesner has mingled illustration and text to suggest two differing, though

connected, stories. By allowing the pigs to escape their traditional narrative that occurs

within confining panels, Wiesner empowers the pigs to develop their own voices and

ultimately to write and rewrite their own stories into another narrative. Indeed, it is in

these marginal, gutter narratives that the truly interesting story takes place as the pigs

revise and question their own pre-text in order to "all live happily ever aft[. .]" (3 8).

Conclusion

Illustrator and Caldecott Honor winner Joseph Low explains, "the thing which is

missing from most children's books is the thing which is at its peak in children's own

work: spontaneous invention, emotional intensity, a natural use of the visual language"

(125). Multiple visual narratives bring back these three missing elements, effectively

integrating invention, emotion, and visual language into something both child and adult

readers can enjoy.

Nodelman writes that, "narrative art is always a combination of pattern and

randomness, order and disorder--one might even say, of abstraction and representation,"

(74). One can see pattern and randomness, order and disorder in the multiple narrative










picture books discussed. Leo and Diane Dillon' s Why M~osquitoes Buzz in People 's Ears

displays both split and double narrative techniques in the mid 1970s, to be one of the first

Caldecott winners attempting to experiment visually. David Macaulay, in the early

1990s, creates a quadruple sylleptic picture book that displays temporally displaced

interconnectedness through visual clues and motifs. Black and White begins a small

movement toward experimental multiple narratives. Again, in 2002, the Caldecott

recognized another exceptional multiple narrative, David Wiesner' s The Three Pigs. The

Three Pigs alleviates the seemingly disconnected chaos of Black and White by using a

traditional, well-known fairy tale as its narrative pre-text. These texts, through using

multiple visual narratives, require more advanced analysis from readers than continuous

narrative style and encourage creativity by breaking traditional conventions. Hopefully

this trend of narrative experimentation will continue and more distinguished picture

books will be available for children and adults to read and enj oy.
















LIST OF REFERENCES

Aardema, Verna. Why M~osquitoes Buzz in People 's Ears: A West African Tale. New
York: Dial Press, 1975. Illus. by Leo and Diane Dillon.

Bader, Barbara. American Picturebooks fr~om Noah 's Ark to the Beast Within. New
York: Macmillan, 1976.

Brown, Marcia. Once A M~ouse. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1961.

- -..10the~~l: From the French ofBlaise Cendrars. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons,
1982.

Eisner, Will. Comics andSequentialArt. Tamarac, FL: Poorhouse Press, 1985, 2001.

- -. Graphic Storytelling & Visual Narrative. Tamarac, FL: Poorhouse Press, 1996,
2001.

Goldsmith, Evelyn. Research Into Illustration: An Approach and A Review. Cambrid ge:
Cambridge UP, 1984.

Lacy, Lyn Ellen. Art and Design in Children 's Picture Books: An Analysis of Caldecott
Award-Winning Illustrations. Chicago: American Library Association, 1986.

Low, Joseph. "Picture Books." The Illustrator 's Notebook. Ed. Lee Kingman. Boston:
The Horn Book, Incorporated, 1978.

Lukens, Rebecca J. A Critical Handbook of Children 's Literature. Boston: Allyn and
Bacon, 2003.

Macaulay, David. Black and White. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co, 1990.

- -. "Caldecott Medal Acceptance." Horn Book Magazine. 67:4 (Jul/Aug 1991): 410-
422.

McClelland, Kate. "2002 Medal Winner." Association for Library Service to Children.
American Library Association. Last accessed March 15, 2003.
ooks, 1938-
Present&Template=/ContentManagement/Conten slycm&otnl=6743


Mitchell, W.J.T. Picture Theory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.


46







47


Mosel, Alene. The Funny Little Woman. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1972. Illus. Blair
Lent.

Nikolajeva, Maria and Carole Scott. How Picturebooks Work. New York: Garland
Publishing, 2001.

Nodelman, Perry. Words About Pictures: The Narrative Art of Children 's Picture Books.
Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1988.

Schwarcz, Joseph H. Ways of the Illustrator: Visual Conanunication in Children 's
Literature. Chicago: American Library Association, 1982.

Scieszka, Jon. The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales. New York:
Viking, 1992. Illus. Lane Smith.

Smith, Barbara Hernstein. "Narrative Versions, Narrative Theories." On Narrative. Ed
W.J.T. Mitchell. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980.

Smith, Irene. A History of the Newbery and Caldecott M~edals.. New York: Viking
Press,1957.

"Terms and Criteria." Association for Library Service to Children. American Library
Association. Last accessed March 15, 2004.
cottterm s/cal decottterms.htm>

Wiesner, David. "Caldecott Medal Acceptance." Horn Book Magazine. 78:4 (2002):
393-399.

- -. "Forward." Wordless Almost Wordless Picture Books: A Guide. Ed. Virginia H.
Richey and Katharyn E. Puckett. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1992.

- -. The Three Pigs. New York: Clarion Books, 2001.

Zipes, Jack. Sticks and Stones. Routledge: New York, 2002.
















BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Cathlena Anna Martin' s journey to graduate school in English began before she

could read. Her mother would sit and "rock, rock, read" for hours in the rocking chair,

thus instilling a natural love for books. Cathlena's strong reading education continued

through high school at Briarwood Christian High School where her English teachers

pushed her to excel. She went on to receive two bachelor' s degrees, one a Bachelor of

Arts in English and the other a Bachelor of Science in Education, from Samford

University in Birmingham, AL. Again, strong English professors mentored her to

continue schooling in English.

Cathlena' a area of interest is children' s literature, particularly visual narratives,

fairy tales, and retellings. Once this thesis is submitted, Cathlena will take part of the

summer off to go home to spend time with her parents, and then begin her Ph.D. studies

at the University of Florida.