When most of us hear“picture books”, we think they are books for children. To children, picture books are not only the first book that they get in touch with but also play an important role in the development of their mind during process of growth. In addition, picture books also connect the dreams and reality. When children start reading picture books, they begin experiencing an unbelievable new world. They take a journey and an adventure with the story. Then they come back to the world of reality.
However, the development of picture books nowadays is far beyond our expectation. Authors’ creativity and readers’ categories are diversified. Generally speaking, the form of picture books are considered to carry educational significance or literary flavor. But recently, there are more and more picture books created from the artistic point of view. A picture book is a collection of many elements, including writings, illustration, expression of content, framework, quality of paper and bookbinding etc. When these elements are integrated cleverly, the artistic quality and media function of a picture book can be completely presented. Under such background, the target of picture books is gradually breaking away from the category of children’s literature. Instead, more and more picture books targeting adults are being published. An adult picture book does not take us away from the world of reality. Instead, an adult picture book is created through integrating reality and life experiences. Mostly, the content is easy to understand and the use of language is more of a tone of motherese. In the present society with diminishing reading population, many people despise such works. However, the volume of sales indicates that many adults are indeed fond of the picture books. Since adults have no time of relaxation in their busy life, picture books take on an imminent role of therapeutic function.
This thesis analyses the development of adult picture books, changes of recent point of view on picture books and present phenomena of publishing and reading condition in Japan. In addition, it elaborates the influence brought by popular adult picture books on the society.