Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

AHS Subject Guides: Art: Ruenhorst

Courses include: Design, Advertising, Graphic Art, Drawing, Painting, Art History, Ceramics, etc.

Molly Bang - Picture This; How Picture Books Work

Picture This; How Pictures Work by Molly Bang

Picture This explores one basic question about how we see things: How and why do structural elements affect our feelings? The book is a ground for understanding this aspect of visual art and for and making it. copyright 2016 by Molly Bang

The elements of art - composition, shape, line, form, value, texture, and color – provide building blocks on which to explore existing artwork and to create your own. In this project, you will explore how to use shape and color to set the mood and make your work express specific emotions.

Explore Bang’s list of the principles that make pictures successful in conveying meaning. The principles explore how different shapes (horizontal, vertical, and diagonal) convey different meanings, how position on a page can attract viewers or make them feel a certain way, how color affects mood, how size affects strength, and how contrast makes us see.  Use one of Molly Bang’s discussions about color as an introduction to using color to affect emotion.


Design your own shape/color and present.


Ruenhorst: Children's Book Analysis


Children’s Books: Evaluation/Analysis

 Objective: To understand the creative process and elements included in successful picture books.  Analysis and evaluation of picture book composition and production of an original work.

 Amity website→High SchoolAHS Library Information Center

Find Online Stuff→By Subject→Art→Class Projects →Ruenhorst


The Library has a collection of children's books found here. Books have been selected and placed on a cart.


Consider the following when evaluating picture books:


Who created the book?

  • Author

  • Illustrator

  • Is it the same?  What are the pros/cons of that?



Artistic Method/Medium Used - Technique

  • Mood/tone

  • Is it appealing?

  • Watercolor

  • Photography

  • Torn paper

  • Aesthetics

  • Exposure to art


Does the book incorporate

  • Historical perspectives

  • An imaginary place

  • Message / Theme



Writing Method Used

  • The impetus to reading

  • Use of sight words

  • few words used

  • Use of funny words/ rhyming

  • Point of view/perspective - positive? negative? from a child? adult?

  • Pacing - are you drawn into the story? Do you want to linger on a page?


Suitability?  Would you make that choice for a children’s book?

Variety - does it maintain interest?

Consistent illustrations or change with the demands of the text?

Additional Reading:

Bang, Molly. Picture This: How Pictures Work. New York: SeaStar, 2000. Print.

Hands, Nancy S. Illustrating Children's Books: A Guide to Drawing, Printing, and Publishing. New York: Prentice Hall, 1986. Print.

Amity High School, Amity Region 5 School District, Woodbridge, CT 06525, 203-397-4844 Librarians: Robert F. Musco and Victoria Hulse Copyright 2017