An excellent post on examples of intertextuality in picture books starts with Iris in How To Hide A Lion by Helen Stephens (Alison Green, 2012), who is seen reading Judith Kerr’s classic The Tiger Who Came To Tea. At the end of the post there is an honourable mention for The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall (Penguin, 2014), which includes two books by the author’s studio mates.
The Trouble With Dragons by Debi Gliori (Bloomsbury, 2008) is a fable about messy, careless dragons. Below, the little dragon is looking at a picture of dragons stranded on mountaintops as the weather changes: a picture the little human reading the book has just seen, six openings before.
This is Harry, star of several picture books written by Ian Whybrow with illustrations by Adrian Reynolds. A few adventures in, Harry found a bucketful of dinosaurs in his attic, and ever since then the stories have been all about Harry and the Dinosaurs.
On the cover of the omnibus More Adventures with Harry and the Dinosaurs, Harry sits in an armchair with his dinosaurs, reading the first omnibus, Harry and the Dinosaurs and the Bucketful of Stories.
There are cross-references throughout the series. Below, in Harry and the Dinosaurs Say ‘Raahh!’, a child waiting to see the dentist is calmed by reading Harry and the Robots. Elsewhere, in Harry and the Dinosaurs Make a Christmas Wish, a bucketful of dinosaurs is on sale in the Christmas shop …
The illustrations in Mairi Hedderwick’s spirited Katie Morag books are full of detail, down to the cheeky inclusion of Katie reading her own stories. Above, in Katie Morag and the Tiresome Ted, Katie has open in front of her what can be identified as Katie Morag Delivers the Mail, with Katie Morag and the Two Grandmothers closed on her brother’s bed.
At the start of Fix-It Duck by Jez Alborough (Collins, 2001), Duck is in the bath. You can’t see him, except for his knees: the yellow duck is a bath toy.
Through the window, we can see Frog standing in the rain, and next to the tub, we can see Duck’s bathtime reading: a book which must be Jez Alborough’s Super Duck.
The dream team of Julia Donaldson (words) and Nick Sharratt (pictures) have written nine books together. There’s a lot going on when Goat Goes To Playgroup (Macmillan, 2012).
As you can see, “Badger reads a book.” This badger of taste has chosen another Donaldson & Sharratt collaboration, the celebration of eating together, Chocolate Mousse for Greedy Goose (Macmillan, 2005):
See also You Choose.