The dearth of significant new illustrators is balanced, in this latest volume in the series, by some uncommonly outspoken essays. Surveying ""the state of the art,"" Walter Lorraine decries--with illustrated examples--today's exaggerated emphasis on technique, regrets the relative lack of attention to character and emotion, and hopes the present ""marking of time"" will yield to new directions. In Europe, Brian Alderson finds a heavy-handed concern with picture books as ""vehicles of visual aesthetics"" or, alternatively, of social conditioning; and, in remarks analogous to Lorraine's, he explores the differences between a self-conscious and a justifiable use of graphic effects. Strong, substantiated presentations both--with Alderson's providing an authoritative wrap-up of the European scene. Less consequential, but certainly useful, are the rundown of Japanese illustrators by Teiji Seta and Momoko Ishii (which introduces some books we'd like to see in toto) and Treld Pelkey Bicknell's survey of non-picture-book illustration--the work of Schoenherr, Cuffari, Robin Jacques, Pauline Baynes, and so on. Many of the latter's judgments are debatable, and might well stimulate discussion. Among the biographies are numerous updates as well as new entries on English, Canadian, and Australian artists whose work is little known here. Altogether, this is probably the least American-oriented book in the series: an international inventory--attesting to much diverse activity--if something less than a celebration.