But if children are taking over the galleries, the child's connection with the image is not yet a central concern n the outside world (certainly not in the National Literacy Strategy). "The verbal aspects of reading have been far better theorised and analysed than the visual," said Professor Shirley Brice Heath of Stanford University at an international symposium on Reading Pictures held in Cambridge last week. Quoting Matisse, she added, "seeing is already a creative operation, one that demands a method".
An understanding of how text and image work together - highlighted throughout this issue of Read on - will help both children and adults find the method, with an increase in visual literacy leading to the other kind.
Geraldine Brennan, TES books editor