Exploring the Purposes of Backmatter in Nonfiction Picturebooks for Children: A Typology

Mary Ann Cappiello, Xenia Hadjioannou

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Nationally and internationally, we face a crisis of misinformation and disinformation (De Jesus & Hubbard, Social Studies, 112(3), 136–145, 2021; Lee & Hosam, Sociological Forum, 35, 996–1008, 2020). Now more than ever, children need to know how authors obtain the information included in nonfiction books. Backmatter simultaneously models informational literacy and engages students more deeply with information, offering them the opportunity to explore further. Through regular explorations of backmatter, students become vicariously immersed in the dynamic processes by which information is created and communicated, normalizing the vetting and utility of information in the public sphere as well as in their own lives. In this article, we offer a brief overview of the evolution of backmatter in nonfiction for young people and propose a typology of backmatter. By highlighting the important, complex roles backmatter serves, we hope to help establish it as an indispensable part of reading a book.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalReading Teacher
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Pharmacology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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