A Picturebook About a PhD About Picturebooks —(2024)

Picturebook Design

This unique project bridges the worlds of academic research and children's literature, exploring the power of picturebooks in climate change education. Collaborating with Dr. Rowan Oberman, an Assistant Professor in Global Citizenship Education at Dublin City University, we created a 28-page full-colour picturebook that both documents and embodies her PhD research process.

Dr. Oberman's thesis investigates the effectiveness of picturebooks in helping children understand climate change. Our challenge was to translate this academic work into an engaging visual narrative that would resonate with young readers while also appealing to researchers and educators in the climate field.
The book follows 'Rowan' as a character, mirroring the chapter structure of her thesis and illustrating key concepts and discoveries along the way. This approach allowed us to present complex ideas in an accessible, visually appealing format.

As an illustrator, this project marked my first foray into picturebook illustration, while also pushing me to tackle a subject matter both unique and critically important. The result is a work that demonstrates how fun and fantastical narratives can make for meaningful and multilayered climate learning.

The illustrations were presented alongside Dr. Oberman's thesis during her viva, showcasing the potential of visual storytelling in academic contexts. This project exemplifies how creative collaboration can bridge gaps between scholarly research and public engagement, particularly in addressing crucial issues like climate change education. By transforming a PhD thesis into a picturebook, we've created a meta-textual work that not only discusses the value of picturebooks in education but also serves as a prime example of their potential impact.
Wicklow, Ireland