(De) Construc­ting the Picture­book

By Monica Morales

Picturebooks are artifacts that embrace discovery and exploration. Through their playfulness, multimodality, and materiality, children can learn new ways of reading stories. My picturebook Un Cumpleaños de Malabares, or One Juggling Birthday, challenges the notion of the standard children’s book by “de-constructing” the structure of the page-book and adopting a non-traditional book design. By shifting the design, I hope to question the boundaries between books and toys, and discover where these two interconnect. The project focuses on discussing relevant contemporary Latin American social issues to an audience of children and adults alike, by exposing these themes in the narrative and illustrations.


Monica Morales is a designer, illustrator and artist. Born in El Salvador, Monica is often inspired by the vibrant colors and landscapes of her home country. She is passionate about storytelling, both in literary and visual form, and about finding new ways of sharing stories with the world. Her work celebrates the beauty of ordinary people and everyday life, often with a hidden splash of magic. She enjoys experimenting with traditional materials and techniques, as well as working interdisciplinarily within illustration and design. She holds a degree in Visual Communication Design and in Business Administration from the University of Evansville in Indiana, and a Master Degree in Visual Communication Design from the University of Bergen in Norway.

Portrait picture of Monica Morales