Research Interests

As an independent scholar Janet’s on-going research relates to:

  • Creative and critical responses to challenging and controversial picturebooks
  • Children’s responses to picturebooks which reflect socio-economic, political and philosophical issues in society.
  • Wordless picturebooks and the art of the wordless picturebook
  • Creative, multimodal connections between art, visual literacy and picturebooks
  • Literacy and popular culture:  play, talk and stories
  • Picturebooks, digital literacy and moving image texts
  • Children’s process of writing and bookmaking as a response to visual texts.

Research Scholarships

In addition to working abroad on several occasions Janet was awarded three research scholarships:


Hewitt/Driver Education Trust Scholarship
Research into bilingual teaching in Tucson, Arizona, USA


Walter Hines Page Scholarship
Research into whole language teaching in the USA


International Youth Library, Munich, Germany
Research into strange, ambiguous and unconventional picturebooks as creative, multimodal art forms.

Research Group Membership

Janet has been a member of several research groups to include:

  • The ESRC funded research seminar group, Children’s Literacy and Popular Culture, organized by Jackie Marsh and Elaine Millard  in 2002 – 2004  University of Sheffield.  
  • The ESRC funded research group on Play, Creativity and Digital Literacies, organized by Muriel Robinson and Rebekah Willett in 2005 – 2007 University of London, Institute of Education and Bishops Grosseteste College, Lincoln.

Review Boards

Janet currently serves on the review board of the following academic journals: