Sandra L. Beckett is Professor Emeritus at Brock University (Canada). She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and a former president of the International Research Society for Children’s Literature. She has authored numerous books, including Revisioning Red Riding Hood Around the World: An Anthology of International Retellings (2014), Crossover Picturebooks: A Genre for All Ages (2012), Crossover Fiction: Global and Historical Perspectives (2009), Red Riding Hood for All Ages: A Fairy-Tale Icon in Cross-Cultural Contexts (2008), Recycling Red Riding Hood (2002), De grands romanciers écrivent pour les enfants (1997), and three books on Henri Bosco. Her edited books include Beyond Babar: The European Tradition in Children’s Literature (2006), Transcending Boundaries: Writing for a Dual Audience of Children and Adults (1999), and Reflections of Change: Children’s Literature Since 1945 (1997). She serves on the boards of several international journals.
Title: Boundary-Breaking Crossover Picturebooks
Crossover picturebooks cross boundaries between young and older readers, between children’s fiction and adult fiction. They break age boundaries and attract a cross-generational audience to a genre traditionally seen as only for children because they challenge the conventional codes and norms of the genre. In their push at generic boundaries, crossover picturebooks challenge the conventional 32-page format that became the industry standard simply due to its cost-effectiveness. Picturebooks now range from a few pages to more than a hundred pages. Innovative formats include a variety of book-objects that completely defy classification. Generic boundaries have become increasingly blurred between the picturebook and the comic book, the artists’ book, the graphic novel, and so forth. This paper will examine the ways in which crossover picturebooks challenge the conventional codes of the picturebook genre in order to create narratives that transcend age boundaries. Crossover picturebooks in many countries demonstrate clearly that the picturebook is an art form suitable for all ages and capable of forging new paths for crossover narratives.