Chapter 10. Just what is it that makes Pop Art picturebooks so different, so appealing?

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In the 1960s and 1970s the Pop Art movement exerted a great influence on picturebook artists in different European countries (Finland, France, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom) and the USA. By referring to various avant-garde movements, such as Dadaism, Expressionism, and Surrealism, and by combining materials chosen from different media (advertisements, comics, film, newspapers, photography, and poster art), the author-illustrators introduced new ideas and concepts into picturebook art, thus crossing the boundaries between popular culture, children’s literature, and modern art. Moreover, Pop Art picturebooks are characterized by an anti-pedagogical approach that encourages the child reader to critically reflect upon moral, political, and pedagogical issues and to revolt against authorities. Extended paratexts explain the artists’ intentions and emphasize the presumption that children usually have more openness to new experiences than adults.


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