The main topic of this thesis is the question of the production of meaning between words and illustrations in picturebooks. The relationship between the verbal and the visual as analysed in critical theory over the last two decades is presented. Approaches to defining the relationship between verbal and visual include: metaphors and analogies borrowed from art and sciences, theoretical constructs, Sipe's concept of synergy, and various typologies/taxonomies. Research into meaning-making is based on Yuri Mikhailovich Lotman's semiotics and phenomenological approach to reading developed by Wolfgang Iser. On the basis of this two approaches and previous analyses, I argue for a dialogical interpretation of the relationship between verbal and visual in picturebooks. This paper also presents different scholarly discussions regarding the connection between picturebooks and postmodernism. It proposes to argue for metafictive picturebooks instead of postmodern ones. Two theories of metafiction are then presented, and a connection between metafiction as employed in picturebooks and the societal demand for cultural products to be entertaining is made. Contemporary culture is characterized in terms of postmodernity and neoliberalism, following Fredric Jameson's writing on the subject. The thesis concludes with interpretations of Shaun Tan's picturebooks The Lost Thing and The Rabbits. The interpretation shows that Tan's work transcends the label of postmodernism often attributed to his work, and raises questions about alienation and belonging.