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The Metafictive Nature of Postmodern Picturebooks


  • Sylvia Pantaleo


Throughout its history, the ecology of the picturebook has been impacted by various social and cultural changes. Postmodernism is one perspective, among other conceptual and theoretical frameworks, that has been proposed to explain some of the fundamental changes evident in many contemporary picturebooks. A review of the literature (Pantaleo & Sipe, 2008) reveals agreement among researchers and theorists that metafiction is one of the most prominent features exhibited in postmodern literature. Succinctly, metafiction draws the attention of readers to how texts work and to how meaning is created through the use of a number of devices or techniques. Following an overview of postmodern picturebooks and metafictive devices, the author provides an analysis of the metafictive devices evident in the picturebook NO BEARS (McKinlay & Rudge, 2012). The article concludes with a discussion of how postmodern picturebooks with metafictive devices can contribute to students' development as readers, writers, and creative thinkers.