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Story & Pictures By


STORY & PICTURES BY is the first feature documentary to take audiences behind the scenes to meet the boundary pushers who create children’s picture books. The film follows Christian Robinson, Yuyi Morales, and Mac Barnett—the stars of the new “golden age” of kids lit— as they create experimental work that reflects the mysteries of childhood, champions the marginalized, and provides children with windows and mirrors, even when the creators’ own lives are not fairy tales. Through rare archival, untapped insights, and stop-motion paper animation, we also come to understand why classics such as “Goodnight Moon,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” “The Snowy Day, ” changed the art form and stand the test of time.


  • Boulder Weekly
    Easily the most heartwarming pick on this list, Joanna Rudnick’s documentary follows three children’s picture book authors as they practice their craft. Rudnick provides a solid history of the artform, including the challenges and outright banning of these books — many of which are considered classics today. Filmmaker in person.
    Michael J. Casey
  • Broke-ass Stuart
    in recounting both the history of children’s picture books and meeting such modern creators as Christian Robinson and Mac Barnett, Rudnick shows how today’s picture books embrace right-wing censors’ banes of greater diversity and broader representation in stories and protagonists.
    Peter Wong
  • Filmmaker Magazine
    A documentary about the “boundary pushers” in children’s literature, past and present, Story & Pictures By touches on issues of sexism, racism and homophobia in children’s literature, as well as more recent issues of book banning. Where it really succeeds is when it transcends the topic by delving into the compelling stories behind its central characters, three contemporary children’s bookmakers.
    Paula Bernstein

Festival Participation

  • Cleveland International Film Festival - 2024
    Nominee Ad Hoc Docs Competition
  • Miami Film Festival - 2024
    Nominee Knight Documentary Achievement Award Best Documentary
  • Hamptons International Film Festival - 2023
  • Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival - 2023
  • Heartland International Film Festival - 2023
  • Big Sky Documentary Film Festival - 2024
  • Bend Film Festival - 2023
  • Montclair Film Festival - 2023
  • Denver Film Festival - 2023
  • SCAD Savannah Film Festival - 2023
  • SFFilm Doc Stories - 2023
  • Salem Film Fest - 2024
  • St. Louis International Film Festival - 2023

Additional Materials

Distribution Company

ROCO Films Logo
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