Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


The Power of Picturebooks

University of Waikato via FutureLearn


Discover how picturebooks reflect societal values

Picturebooks are powerful pedagogical resources in educational and home settings.

On this four-week course from The University of Waikato, you’ll be introduced to the history and characteristics of the picturebook format and how they depict societal values.

Develop your textual and visual analysis skills

You’ll explore the powerful combination of text and image, delving into the role that visual language can play in meaning-making.

Then, this course will guide you through the learning potential of the picturebook, specifically focusing on raising awareness of social issues, cultivating empathy, and working toward social justice.

Explore the importance of language hierarchies in bilingual picturebooks

Bilingual picturebooks reflect the status of languages in society and can be used to support awareness of languages and language learning. On this course, you’ll learn to analyse picturebooks by considering their purpose and audience.

Learn from education experts at The University of Waikato

Sitting among the top 3% of universities worldwide, The University of Waikato is committed to delivering a world-class education and research portfolio.

The two educators that will guide you through this course are both award-winning tertiary teachers who bring a strong background in both content and online pedagogy.

This course is designed for teachers working across all levels of education. It may also be of interest to parents as well as authors and publishers working in children’s literature.

For this course, you’ll be invited to gather a range of picturebooks, either in print and/or ebook format.


  • An introduction to picturebooks and their history
    • Picturebook memories
    • Key features of picturebooks
    • A history of picturebooks
  • Picturebook illustration and visual analysis
    • Meet an illustrator
    • Visual analysis of picturebook illustrations
    • Analysing picturebook illustrations
  • Investigating languages in bilingual picturebooks
    • Discovering languages in bilingual picturebooks
    • Meet an author of bilingual picturebooks
    • Thinking about language hierarchies in bilingual picturebooks
  • Exploring social issues depicted in picturebooks
    • How picturebooks help us learn about ourselves and others
    • Diversity of picturebooks in educational settings
    • Social Issues in Picturebooks
    • Reflections on what you have learned

Taught by

Nicola Daly


4.7 rating at FutureLearn based on 64 ratings

Start your review of The Power of Picturebooks

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.