Picturebooks and Auteur Picturebooks

Modern film critics set up an opposition between genre film and auteur film. Like children’s literature, film is a relatively young form of art which is now catching up with the other arts. Like children’s literature, film was not at first perceived by critics to be a serious art form. While most films are, of course, genre films, we can today see a growing amount of auteur films; we speak of Bergman films, Fellini films of Tarkovsky films without thinking about which genre these masters be. …

It would seem that we can similarly speak of genre children’s books and “auteur children’s books. The latter are becoming literary, sophisticated and complex. But there still is, and must always be, a vast number of genre or “epic” books. …

Evidently auteur books are still limited in number

Obviously, “literary” children’s literature puts greater demands on the reader. Today we see that many writers are not afraid to do that. At the same time we see that many are still convinced that children need happy endings.

– Maria Nikolajeva, in Children’s Literature Comes Of Age

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