At the start of the new century, and more specifically since 2010, we have witnessed an exponential increase worldwide in the number of non-fiction books for children. Not only has the number of non-fiction publications increased, the books themselves have completely changed in nature compared to the traditional children’s learning books of the past. Increasingly released in the form of a picturebook – very often large format picturebooks – non-fiction publications have recently offered and continue to offer ample space for far-reaching experimentation using a range of original, surprising and previously unthinkable ways of combining transmission of knowledge and artistic research, description of the world and a poetic approach, especially achieved by means of a well-meditated and skilfully designed visual code. This volume, enriched with many full-coloured illustrations, provides a broad overview of the current children’s non-fiction picturebook scene and of the research that is developing around this innovative kind of informational book.
Giorgia Grilli teaches Children’s Literature at the University of Bologna, where she co-founded the Centro di Ricerche in Letteratura per l’infanzia (Centre of Research in Children’s Literature) by the Department of Education. She has been Principal Investigator of a three-year research project on non-fiction picturebooks ending in 2020. In 2015 she received the Distinguished Scholar Grant by the Children’s Literature Association. In partnership with Bologna Children’s Book Fair, she led research projects whose outcome were the books Bologna: Fifty Years of Books for Children from Around the World, BUP, 2013; and Ugo Fontana. Illustrating for Children, ETS, 2014. Other publications are: Myth, Symbol and Meaning in Mary Poppins. The Governess as Provocateur, Routledge, 2014; A Visual Journey to Italy (with Marcella Terrusi), in Evelyn Arizpe, Teresa Colomer, Carmen Martinez Roldan (eds), Visual Journeys Through Wordless Narratives. An International Inquiry with Immigrant Children and ‘The Arrival’, Bloomsbury Academic, 2014.