Panteleo’s “Learning About and Through Picturebook Artwork”

Article Summary

The study “Learning about and through picturebook artwork” by Sylvia Pantaleo focuses on how second-graders can develop their understanding and comprehension of art though the analysis of its visual elements with the help of picturebooks. Twenty-two young children aged from seven to nine were examined in their participation on various activities that were aimed at teaching different elements of visual art and design, such as line, typography, color, perspective, and framing (Pantaleo, 2018). The research focuses on the analysis of the responses and reflections of the participants about two multimodal texts, specifically, on how their writings reflected their comprehension of the artworks presented in the picturebooks.

The research showed how working with the picturebooks impacted the children’s capability to link the visual elements of art with the semiotic elements. The symbiosis of written text and visual art creates an insightful comprehension of art, and allows children to see deeper meaning concealed in it, which consequently acts as a visual competence base for analysis of art. In her work, Pantaleo refers to Vygotsky’s theory of sociocultural perspective on teaching and learning, which emphasizes the importance of social engagement for better teaching and learning experience (Pantaleo, 2018). Thus, the discussion of the art in the picturebooks promoted a profound understanding of the advanced metalanguage within their thinking about visual art and design elements. For example, the introduction of the concept of complementary colors allowed the students to create visually literate works of their own, as well as integrate certain emotional vision and reflect it in their work through certain combinations of colors.

Thus, the study reveals how complex analysis of picturebooks can significantly increase children’s visual art literacy. As multimodal texts, they that include various elements, visual and textual, are a base for in-depth cultivation of artsy vision in youth. Discussion and further creation of picturebooks promote a high culture of art comprehension among children and, thus, act as an impactful teaching technique.


One of the main points of Pantaleo’s research is the focus on development of insightful comprehension of art through the introduction of specific visual elements of it, as the children were taught such concepts as line, framing, color theory, and others. According to the research, these tools help the ability to read between the lines for deeper comprehension. I agree with this idea because the ability to draw inferences in addition to an understanding of literal points and to search for hidden meanings is an important part of the comprehension process (Reading Rockets, 2020).

Another important idea that the article presents is the effectiveness of transduction when the children applied the acquired knowledge to the creation and oral explanation of their own picturebooks. During interviews, they explained the use of visual elements in their own work when describing the overall idea of it (Pantaleo, 2018). I agree with this point, as it is also an integral part of any teaching process. Summarizing and retelling help the students to separate the important and the secondary information (Reading Rockets, 2020). This activity stimulates the skill of detailed and purposeful reading and learning, which boosts the comprehension process.

Application and Synthesis

The teaching method of complex analysis of picturebooks can be applied in the class when working with children of different ages. Choosing to discuss a certain picturebook, including a detailed analysis of the typography, color palettes, and other elements of visual art and design will engage the skills for semiotic and visual analysis of the books. The same activities can be done with the middle school children but with the use of magazines or professionally made blogs and websites, which are also multimodal texts. For example, the analysis of the blogs aimed at different audiences and focused on different themes can help children learn the use of various language styles and imagery for different purposes and then be easily applied in their own work. Here, the analysis of how the story is framed and the use of certain colors and imagery can hint at more effective ways of conveying the initial message.


Pantaleo, S. (2018). Learning about and through picturebook artwork. The Reading Teacher, 71(5), 557-567.

Comprehension. (2020). Reading Rockets: Launching your readers. Web.

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"Panteleo’s “Learning About and Through Picturebook Artwork”." ChalkyPapers, 15 Apr. 2023,


ChalkyPapers. (2023) 'Panteleo’s “Learning About and Through Picturebook Artwork”'. 15 April.


ChalkyPapers. 2023. "Panteleo’s “Learning About and Through Picturebook Artwork”." April 15, 2023.

1. ChalkyPapers. "Panteleo’s “Learning About and Through Picturebook Artwork”." April 15, 2023.


ChalkyPapers. "Panteleo’s “Learning About and Through Picturebook Artwork”." April 15, 2023.