LIBR 271A-01
LIBR 271A-10
Genres and Topics in Youth Literature
Topic: Picturebooks for Older Readers
Summer 2011 Greensheet

Richie Partington
Other contact information: (cell) 707-293-0012
Office Hours: There are no formal office hours. I prefer receiving emails but you are also welcome to telephone. I will typically respond within 24 hours, and will definitely respond within 48 hours unless there is an emergency or I have specifically notified the class that I will be out of touch (which is extremely rare).

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
iSchool eBookstore

D2L Information: This course has a D2L site. You will be enrolled into the site automatically on the first day of the semester.

Course Description

There is a wealth of outstanding picture books being published today for ‘tweens and teens in all genres and subject areas. These books may include relatively lengthy texts, advanced vocabulary, and/or sophisticated concepts which results in their being far more appropriate for and accessible to older readers than to younger elementary students. Additionally, the outstanding literary qualities of many picture books make them potentially of great value to language arts teachers and in classrooms for 'tweens and teens across the curriculum. There is also an explosion in the popularity of fiction and nonfiction presented in graphic novel format, and in manga. In this class, focused on readers in grades five and up, we will work with a wide variety of picture books for older readers, considering how they can enhance library collections and school curricula while encouraging older students to expand their reading behaviors and help promote lifelong reading habits.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 200 required.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of the course the student will have:

  • participated in analyzing the textual and visual components of a broad selection of fiction and informational picture books for older readers;
  • formulated plans for including such books within the development of school and public library collections designed to serve middle school and high school students;
  • probed the professional literature to examine possible benefits of including these books in such collections;
  • developed strategies for regularly and efficiently identifying new picture books for older readers that should be evaluated for inclusion in such collections;
  • developed written plans for collaborating with teachers in utilizing specific books and groups of books in classes across the curriculum and throughout the secondary grades;
  • taken part in developing real world online resources that will provide new and detailed information about picture books for older readers, information that will be of significant value to a large number of school and public library staff members and to their patrons.

LIBR 271A supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • articulate the ethics, values and foundational principles of library and information professionals and their role in the promotion of intellectual freedom;
  • recognize the social, cultural and economic dimensions of information use;
  • use service concepts, principles and techniques that facilitate information access, relevance, and accuracy for individuals or groups of users;
  • describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors;
  • design training programs based on appropriate learning principles and theories;
  • evaluate programs and services on specified criteria.

Course Requirements

Course Assignments
This course requires a number of assignments designed to introduce students to the concepts covered in class and in the text, as well as to practical applications of methods. Students will work individually and participate in group projects and in Discussion Forums on D2L. Students accumulate up to 1000 points. The total is then divided by 10 to determine the course grade. See Grading Scale below for details.

Assignment 1. Build a Picturebooks for Older Readers Database, 600 points, due August 12, 2011:
Locate, read, and develop information about 60 great picturebooks for older readers, with “older readers” defined for this class as being age appropriate for those within the age range of fifth grade through twelfth grade.  “Great picturebook” is defined for this class as a picturebook that you would highly recommend to a segment of students within this defined age range.  In determining whether a book meets the definition of “picturebook,” please refer to the official Terms and Criteria of the Randolph Caldecott Medal on the ALA website and to your professional readings for this class.

You will create a blog in D2L in which you will compile your database for Assignment 1.

In your blog entries you will include the following information for each of the 60 books you read and are recommending:

  • A bibliographic citation that includes title, subtitle, author, illustrator, year of publication, publisher city, publisher, and ISBN; an annotation you create of approximately 30 words; a personal reaction to the book; a live link to the author’s website (if one exists) or the statement “No author website;” if the author is not also the illustrator, then a live link to the illustrator’s website (if one exists) or the statement “No illustrator website;” a listing of the media used by the illustrator in creating the original art work; and identification of ten of the 60 books as each being one of your Top Ten. (5 points per book for a total of 300 points)

Included among this set of 60 picturebooks for older readers in your blog should be identified a minimum of:

  • 10 Picturebooks for older readers that you choose from the list titled “Books receiving votes for Top Ten favorites from students in the LIBR271 2009 summer semester Picturebooks for Older Readers class.” (Notate each of these as “2009 students' list”) (2 points per book for a total of 20 points)
  • 15 Picturebooks for Older Readers with copyright dates of 2010 or 2011. (2 points per book for a total of 30 points)
  • One manga book; (10 points)
  • Two pieces of fiction in graphic novel format; (10 points per book for a total of 20 points)
  • Two pieces of nonfiction in graphic novel format. (10 points per book for a total of 20 points)
  • Three books that contain single book-length poems. (5 points per book for a total of 15 points)
  • Twenty-five books for which you are advocating curricular connections to a class for students somewhere between fifth and twelfth grade. Identify the subject and grade or grades for which you are advocating this connection. (These can include the ten titles from your Assignment 2 group project.) Of these twenty-five books for which you advocate curricular connections, create five detailed lesson plans for utilizing one or more of these books. (2 points per book for a total of 50 points)

Among your database listings of 60 picture books for older readers you should also identify and briefly discuss as part of your blog entries at least one example of a picture book for older readers employing:

  • the use of metaphor through the text and/or through the illustrations. (5 points)
  • the use of simile through the text and/or through the illustrations. (5 points)
  • the use of allusion through the text and/or through the illustrations. (5 points)
  • the use of rhyme through the text and/or through the illustrations. (5 points)
  • the use of alliteration through the text and/or through the illustrations. (5 points)
  • the use of onomatopoeia through the text and/or through the illustrations. (5 points)
  • the use of rhythm through the text and/or through the illustrations. (5 points)
  • the use of personification through the text and/or through the illustrations. (5 points)
  • the use of symbol through the text and/or through the illustrations. (5 points)
  • the use of sophisticated language through the text and/or through the illustrations. (5 points)
  • the use of repetition through the text and/or through the illustrations. (5 points)
  • For six of the books, discuss in detail as part of the blog entries for each of them some significant aspects of each book’s artwork. (5 points per book for a total of 30 points)

Among your database listings of 60 picturebooks for older readers you should identify one book whose inclusion in a middle school library media center and/or a high school library media center and/or a portion of a public library collection that is specifically designed to serve middle school and/or high school patrons has already been challenged or for which you see significant potential for a challenge. Discuss at length, as part of the blog entry for this book your own response to the real or hypothetical challenge focusing on your rationale for including this book in the collection. (50 points) (Objectives A, C, E and F)

Assignment 2: Group Paper and Annotated Bibliography, 100 points, due July 8, 2011:
Working in assigned groups, develop an annotated bibliography of ten Picturebooks for Older Readers that can be used to supplement the needs of a specific academic discipline and grade range (i.e. 8th grade American history). As a group, write an introduction to the annotated biography, explaining the value of picturebooks for older readers in general and how this annotated bibliography specifically aids the topic covered. (Group members can utilize the ten books as part of each of their respective Assignment 1 databases.) (Objectives A, D, and F)

Assignment 3: Presentation of Top Ten Titles, 100 points, due August 12, 2011:
Share your ten favorites from your blog with your classmates. Create a powerpoint presentation, webcast, or YouTube video, or schedule and record an Elluminate session, in which you present information, commentary, and visual images of your own Top Ten titles from your database/blog. Submit your presentation or the url for retrieving your presentation to your classmates through a post to the appropriate Discussion Forum by August 12, 2011. (Objectives A, E and F)

Class Participation: 200 points. (20 points per week). Participate in weekly discussion forums. (Objectives A, E and F) Students will participate in discussion forums in order to practice professional discourse on the course topics and materials. All discussion postings must be of graduate standard writing and content. Students must proofread discussion posts for correct spelling, grammar, and usage. I expect proper etiquette and professional behavior in responding to the work of your colleagues in the course, that you participate in all discussion forums, that you post your original contribution early in each forum, and that you respond later in the week to at least one of your colleagues in each discussion forum. Therefore, my expectation is that you post a minimum of two (2) times per discussion forum. I will base your grade for participation not only on frequency and timeliness of posting, but also on quality of information in your discussion posts. (Please don't just say "Me too," or say "That book sounds interesting." Remember that this is a graduate program discussion forum, not Facebook.) Discussion forums for the course will include your professional reflections (based on background reading, personal research, and reading of required books and media). As there is a time frame for beginning and ending dates for each forum, late posting of comments will not count toward credit. I will hold students responsible for carefully and respectfully following the SJSU guidelines for academic integrity.

Extra Credit: You will have the opportunity to earn 10 points of extra credit toward the end of the semester by completing and submitting your SOTES form for this class and then notifying me by email that you have done so.

Textbooks and Readings

Required Readings:
(This list may be augmented with relevant, recently published journal articles.)

  • Week 1 (Short week, June 6-10)
    A Unique Visual and Literary Art Form: Recent Research on Picturebooks
    Horning, Introduction
  • Week 2 (June 11-17)
    Henry, R and Simpson, C. (2001). Picture books & older readers: A match made in heaven. Teacher Librarian, 28(3), 23-27.
    Horning, Chapter 5
  • Week 3 (June 18-24)
    Smith, M. (2008). Is “E” really for everybody? Picture books for older readers in public libraries. Education Libraries, 31(1), 5-12.
    Horning, Chapter 8
  • Week 4 (June 25-July 1)
    Cornog, M. (2010). Picturing the classics. Library Journal, 135(19), 54. 
  • Week 5 (July 2-8)
    Price, A. (2009). New books from old: Turning classics into comics. Publishers Weekly, 256(51), 27-29. Moon, B. (2009). Classics revisited. School Library Journal, 55(7), 36-41. Week 6 (July 9-15)
    Griffith, P. (2010). Graphic novels in the secondary classroom and school libraries. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 43(3), 181-189.
  • Week 7 (July 16-22)
    Oder, N. Graphic novels called porn. (2006). Library Journal,131(19), 19-20
  • Week 8 (July 23-29)
    Fingerson, J., & Killeen, E. (2006). Picture Books for Young Adults. Teacher Librarian, 33(4), 32-4.
  • Week 9 (July 30-August 5)
    White, D.R. (2006) Every picture tells a story: Picture books for older readers. OLA Quarterly, 12(2), 16-20.
  • Week 10 (August 6-12) TBD

Additional Recommended Reading:

I. I encourage you to read the appropriate chapters in textbooks on children’s literature to help you review the criteria for evaluation of picture books and understand various aspects of artistic merit.

  • Only Connect: Readings on Children’s Literature, by Sheila A. Egoff, et. al. 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 1996; ISBN: 0195410246 (Paper); See section on “Picture Books and Illustration.”
  • Children’s Literature in the Elementary School, by Charlotte S. Huck, Susan Hepler, Janet Hickman, Barbara Z. Kiefer. 7th edition. McGraw Hill, 2000; ISBN: 0072423919; Chapter 5: Picture Books.
  • Children & Books, 9th edition, by Zena Sutherland. Addison-Wesley, 1996; ISBN: 0673997332; Chapter 5: Artists and Children’s Books.

II. I encourage you to read one or more books about picture book art.

  • Art and Design in Children’s Picture Books: An Analysis of Caldecott Award-Winning Illustrations, by Lyn Ellen Lacy. American Library Association, 1986.
  • Caldecott Celebration: Six Artists Share Their Paths to the Caldecott Medal, by Leonard S. Marcus. Walker & Co., 1998; ISBN: 0802786561.
  • Looking at Picture Books, by John Warren Stewig. Highsmith, 1995; ISBN: 091784629X.
  • Lotus Seeds: Children, Pictures, and Books, by Marcia Brown. Atheneum, 1986; ISBN: 0684184907
  • Potential of Children’s Books: From Visual Literacy to Aesthetic Understanding, by Barbara Z. Kiefer. Merrill/Prentice Hall, 1995; ISBN: 0013635355.
  • Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children’s Books, by Uri Shulevitz. Watson-Guptill, 1997; ISBN: 0823059359.
  • Picture This: How Pictures Work, by Molly Garrett Bang. Seastar Books, 2000; ISBN: 1587170299 (Hardcover); ISBN: 1587170302 (Paper).
  • Ways of Telling: Conversations on the Art of the Picture Book, by Leonard S. Marcus. Dutton, 2002; ISBN: 0525464905.

III. I encourage you to read one or more books about Picture Books for Older Readers.

  • Big Ideas in Small Packages: Using Picture Books with Older Readers, by Molly Pearson. Linworth Publishing, 2005; ISBN: 158683178X.
  • Worth a Thousand Words: An Annotated Guide to Picture Books for Older Readers, by Betty DeBruyne Ammon. Libraries Unlimited, 1996; ISBN: 1563083907.
  • Teaching with Picture Books in the Middle School, by Iris McLellan Tiedt. International Reading Association, 2000; 0872072738.
  • Building Literacy Connections with Graphic Novels: Page by Page, Panel by Panel, by James Bucky Carter. National Council of Teachers of English, 2007; ISBN: 0814103928.

Expectations for Success:

  • This Greensheet is the course contract. Please read it and understand it.
  • There will be a few additional readings that I will choose from newly-published articles relating to this course's subject matter.
  • Title pages: All course assignments must have a title page.
  • Prepare all assignments in MS Word 2003/Word 2007, and double-spaced;
  • All pages must have a header with your name and the page number (assignment pages must be consecutively numbered);
  • Students must proofread written assignments (including discussion forum postings) for correct spelling, grammar, and usage. I encourage you access the SLIS Writing Resources site. You are also welcome to peer edit each other's work.
  • Use the following file name convention when you attach your work to the assignment drop-boxes: YOURLASTNAME_KEYWORD-FOR-ASSIGNMENT;
  • Students should use the Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed.) as the standard for all bibliographic citations.
  • Students and faculty are bound by the U.S. copyright regulations and need to cite the sources of the intellectual property of others, including information, images, or ideas that do not belong to us. Follow the regulations located in the Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials policy at;
  • Because this is an online class, students must pay particular attention to the Distance Learning (SJSU), Copyright, and Fair Use, and Plagiarism Guidelines at Students need to pay special attention to the third bullet item at the website: Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia;
  • If you submit work with words, images, or ideas that are not their original ideas, words, or images, you must cite the sources of those words, images, or ideas. It is important for students in library science courses to develop a respect for the work of others and to be responsible users of the work of others. Although the work of students does have some fair-use protection, you are never safe in using words, images, or ideas of others in a course in which we share our work with one another. Not only will you need to remember this when you are posting to the discussion forums, you must also practice responsible use of resources in your projects that you will be sharing with your colleagues.
  • Penalty for late work: I will accept late work on Assignments (but not on the discussion forums), but you will lose points for each day the assignment is late as per assignment descriptions.  There will be a 10 point per day penalty for late submissions of Assignment 1 and a 2 point per day penalty for late submissions of Assignments 2 and 3.

Required Textbooks:

  • Horning, K. T. (2010). From Cover to Cover (revised ed.): Evaluating and Reviewing Children's Books. HarperCollins. Available through Amazon: 0060777575. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

icon showing link leads to the PDF file viewer known as Acrobat Reader Download Adobe Acrobat Reader to access PDF files.

More accessibility resources.