artist’s artwork and when executed successfully can lend a sense of authenticity to the visuals created, as well as providing access to styles and techniques from other countries and cultures.

Illustrator Poonam Mistry (2019) discusses some of the influences behind her work: ‘My artwork is greatly influenced by Indian folk art and textiles but also other forms of traditional art celebrated around the world. As my style is heavily decorative, it’s important that the image itself remains simple and encapsulates what the text is trying to say in its basic form. Each layer of pattern is almost a piece of thread and together they weave and entwine to create a tapestry of different elements and images that feels unified and one. The patterns I draw often curve and adjust to the shape of animals and organic forms to help create movement and fluidity. For me, it is important that my style reflects my heritage and roots. It helps to give the reader an idea of who is behind the pictures.’

A powerful way to help curate a representative collection – where selection processes enable this – is to work with a consultative group of young people trying to ensure that this comprises of individuals with a range of lived experience. As visual narratives are often more immediate, this can be an effective way both of giving voice to young people and visibility to underrepresented groups.

Seeing sense: visual literacy as a tool for libraries, learning and reader development, by Jake Hope is published by Facet Publishing, 9781783304417, £39.95.

Likewise, when choosing core titles for a collection, it is important to consider the effects of colonisation that often impacts upon canonical titles. There has been significant work into decolonisation of the classroom, which has extended to collections in the library. Creating an inclusive collection in the library is key to ensuring a representative and wide-reaching base for all readers. Thinking around who the primary audience of the collection is perceived to be and considering the types of world view represented by the books is an important starting point in this. Cultural influences can affect an illustrator or

Jake Hope is chair of the working party for Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals. He is a children’s book and reading development consultant.

Exploring the role of visual literacy as a tool for promoting reading!

Seeing Sense by Jake Hope

is available now from Facet Publishing. Featuring contributions from

Sir Philip Pullman, Chris Riddell and Nick Sharratt.

Cover artwork by Olivia Lomenech Gill

visit for more information.

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