An Analysis of Humorous Devices in Picture Books: A Pictorial Article

  • Elys Dolan
Keywords: humour, pictorial, picture books


The purpose of this pictorial paper is to demonstrate types of humour found in picture books and how the characteristics of the picture book are deployed in their execution. It was deemed necessary to demonstrate these forms of humour, as opposed to purely analysing existing instances of such humour, to allow the reader the opportunity to experience comic amusement.

Therefore, this paper is written and illustrated in the manner of a picture book, using the convention of the form, such as characters, setting and word/image interplay. It is imperative that this paper should be read as a picture book would, with the reader considering both words and pictures together simultaneously and extracting meaning from their experience of the two working together.

Please continue to turn the pages and wait for your lecturer to arrive.

Author Biography

Elys Dolan

Dr. Elys Dolan lectures in the MA in Children’s Book Illustration program at the Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University, and is a member of the Centre for Children’s Book Studies. Her research specialism is humour in illustrated children’s books and how it emerges through creative practice. Elys has also written and illustrated twelve internationally published children’s books, ranging from picture books to illustrated middle-grade fiction.

How to Cite
Dolan, E. (2021). An Analysis of Humorous Devices in Picture Books: A Pictorial Article. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 13(1), 17-58. Retrieved from
Articles for Special Issue on Laughter