The Fishing Trip by Beatrice Rodriguez

The Fishing Trip by Rodriguez  is a wonderful wordless book that I will be adding to the list of wordless books on our texts that teach list.  Thanks @madaboutbooks for the recommendation.

The book tells the story of Fox, Chicken and Crab who open the fridge to find the cupboard bare.  Chicken and Crab then go off on a fishing trip to catch some food.  They catch a large fish, only for a cross eagle-type bird to catch hold of the fish and drag Chicken and Crab off.  They end up entangled with a nasty-looking sea-snake and escape back home.  There a big surprise awaits them and I laughed out loud when I turned to the last page and saw what they were having for tea.

The book would work particularly well with units of literacy in Yrs2 – 4 where a traditional tale is being looked at, as the story lends itself to that type of story telling.  It would fit into the capturing ideas part of a teaching sequence providing a structure for children to retell their own story.  We are in discussion about the blueprint – voyage and return or quest. It fits both and the one you would choose would be dependent upon how strongly you felt the desire was to go on a journey to solve the problem of no food .

I was delighted to see that there were  more books in the series: The Chicken Thief, Fox and Hen TogetherRooster’s Revenge  and The Treasure Thief due out at the end of this month. I am going to have to start collecting them!

Have you come across any good books recently?

Wordless picture book number 3

When Night Didn’t Come by Poly Bernatene is a wordless picture book which offers a considerable level of challenge to read as well as being a visual feast.

The story tells of a village when the sun goes down and the panic when the moon doesn’t rise.  There are wonderful pictures of the mechanics of making the moon rise with villagers pulling up large bags of stars and throwing them into the sky.

The colours used in the pictures are rich with glowing oranges set against darker blues, greens and purples giving a slightly theatrical, if not magical feel to the story.  It is this element that reminds me of Leon and The Place Between by Grahame Baker-Smith.  In fact it would be wonderful if children could tell the story of night not coming in the style of Leon and The Place Between.  The language in that book is rich in patterning with a magical air about it.

I think this book would be most suitable for Yr4 children, particularly the imaginary worlds/fanstasy unit of literacy.  Wonderful!


Wordless Picture Books Supporting Writing

Working with some teachers last week, we started to explore the power of wordless picture books and how they can support children’s writing.  Here are some of the reasons that we came up with about why we should be using them:

  • they allow children to tell their own story based upon their own understanding of the images
  • the allow children to control a whole story thereby embedding story structure
  • they allow us the opportunity to teach the aspects of writing that children need to get better at in a controlled context, e.g use of speech, figurative language etc
  • they allow us to teach visual literacy skills and the ways in which they can enhance writing
  • they allow children to orchestrate a greater degree of complexity in character, setting, plot, conflict and theme
  • they develop speaking and listening skills

So why aren’t we using more of them?

Over the next few weeks I will be reviewing wordless picture books that will appear on our texts that teach list.

The first one I want to look at is Shadow by Suzy Lee.

This is an incredible book telling the story of a little girl in a garage who switches on the light and starts to make and play with the shadows.  The shadows become more and more fantastical showing a rich imaginary world.  There are only two colours used in the book, black and yellow, the yellow becoming more predominant as the shadows move further into the realms of fantasy.

What I really love is the way in whcih the book is designed with the little girl on one side of the double page spread and the shadows on the other, meeting at the centre of the book so if you hold up one of the pages it really does look like shadows on a wall.  The fold represents the line between reality and fantasy.  There are similar themes in her book Mirror.  Click on the link to the slide show to see what they are.

I can think of several ways of telling the story in this book.  The first way that springs to mind is the way in which Rosie’s Walk is told.  Sparse text telling the reality of the story but that leaves out all the interesting fantasy elements so I think I would like to retell it in the style of Think of an Eel by Karen Wallace and Mike Bostock which is a text with a dual voice.  One text told in straight forward report style and the other told in rich, alliterative language.  I think they would work well with Shadows.

What are your favourite wordless picture books?