Picture Books are illustrated books for children where the images have as equal an importance as the text. They are often meant to be read aloud to young children while the children look at the artwork; however, young readers also enjoy using these items for independent reading. Picture books differ from early readers in many ways including non-structured text layouts, images that add to the artistic quality of the work and not necessarily to literary interpretation, and are typically restricted to one story instead of chapters. Picture books also have larger cover and page sizes which make it easier to share with children. While the majority of picture books have a target audience of children with low reading levels, recent trends in publishing have shown the format expanding to titles intended for older audiences, and these titles can be creatively incorporated into the curriculum for older students.
Picture Books make up one of the largest collections at the TDRL and are included for educational reasons. Titles reflect a wide range of artistic and illustrative styles and include a variety of stories, settings, and topics relevant to a diverse population of children. Non-fiction titles in the picture book format are not included in this collection, but rather, are apart of the Juvenile Non-Fiction collection.