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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Picture Walking

When the visual components of a story are integral to understanding the text, the students like to take a picture walk to discover things they might have missed the first time. Today almost half a class of first graders crowded around Charlie Cook's Favorite Book (written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler) to compare the first double-page spread with the last (and the pages in-between).

Charlie Cook loves to curl up in a comfortable chair and read his favorite book about a pirate captain who, after being forced to walk the plank, discovers a treasure chest in which there is a book about Goldilocks reading in Baby Bear's bed. Each reading character's book opens to another book until a ghostly girl's book reveals Charlie Cook in his armchair. There are hints of characters in that first double-page spread; they just do not make sense until seen through the entire text.

Watching the children notice and discover, scan and point, reinforces my conviction in the power of picture books.

What would they notice in the turtle image above? Thanks to Lois Ehlert's work in Leaf Man for inspiring me to combine natural objects in art.


  1. You description was so good it gave me chills.

  2. I want to be in your classes every day. . .

  3. I wish you were in my class every day too, Joyce. Stop by anytime :)

    You would have loved today, Brattcat. After picture walking with one class EVERY child's hand was raised to tell something noticed in the illustrations. We also pondered how Axel Scheffler used pen, pencil, crayons, watercolors, and colored pencils all together in the artwork.

  4. You've got me wanting to take a "picture walk" with this book!