- Is the text effective and appropriate for the intended audience?
- Does is flow well when read aloud?
- Are there pleasing sounds, rhythms, patterns?
- If it rhymes, does it do so effectively?
- Do the pages turn in the right places?
- How does the story unfold? Are there elements that allow readers to predict what might happen?
- Are there opportunities for dialogic reading?
- Is there a balance between predictability and surprise?
- What medium does the illustrator use?
- How would you classify their technique: fair, good, distinguished, masterful?
- How does the illustrator use visual elements? To what effect?
- What colors are used and to what effect?
- What visual element(s) are most dominant: color, line, shape?
- Do the illustrations support the text? Do they expand it?
- Does the illustrator make creative use of the physical object to tell the story? For example, the use of endpapers, gutters, or orientation.
Text & Illustration Together
This is the real secret sauce of picture books and something that every reviewer should consider.
- How are the text and pictures working together?
- Do the illustrations extend the story, the characterization, the setting? Do they provide details not present in the text alone?
- Does the placement of text on the page and/or the physical attributes of the text (such as typeface or size) contribute to the pacing or revelation of story?
- Is there a natural progression of both art and words from one page to the next?