Friday, August 10, 2018

Picture Book 10 for 10 -- David Wiesner

I had the opportunity to hear David Wiesner speak at the Whole Language Umbrella conference this past summer, and when I saw that he has ten picture books, it just seemed like a ready-made 10 for 10!

But there's more than that. His message about picture book design and his mission to "show as much visually as possible with as little text as possible" resonated because my first read aloud will be a graphic novel (via Kindle on the big screen). I decided that along with the work we'll do with the visuals in the read aloud, a beginning-of-the-year mini-unit spent closely studying David Wiesner's picture books will be time well spent, as well as an inviting entry point for all readers. We can dig into the way he represents multiple realities and the world off the page (The Three Little Pigs and Flotsam are great ones for that). We can study beginnings and endings. And we can look at the ways he sets up patterns and breaks them. (I'm sure there will be more -- I want to remain open to what my students find interesting and want to study). I'm hoping to see the benefits of this work echoing not just through reading workshop for the rest of the year, but also in our narrative writing unit in writing workshop.











Big thanks to Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek for cooking up this fabulous yearly event! Check out all the posts on the Google+ community. Open a tab for your public library and hide your credit card!!


  1. I've only read about half of these. I need to check out the other half. I heard David Weisner speak at my state conference a few years ago and I enjoyed listening to him talk about how he creates books.

  2. I know each one except Hurricane, love the idea of a focused study of Wiesner's books, Mary Lee. They are unique and wonderful.

  3. What an exciting way to start the school year! Teaching kids to closely examine illustrations will ultimately help them to pay close attentions to written words. Which graphic novel will you start the year with? Our new favorite is the Cardboard Kingdom.

  4. I've read a few of David Wiesner's books, but now I think I need to get back to the library to check out the rest of these. Thanks for sharing this list and your ideas for the beginning of the school year!

  5. David Wiesner's work is amazing. I love your idea of beginning the year with a mini-unit closely examining his work. Have you seen David Wiesner and the Art of Wordless Storytelling? It was published by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and provides a lot of insight into his work.

  6. David Wiesner's one of my favorites, but I don't know I'VE GOT IT. I'd love to hear more about your author study!

  7. We absolutely love his books at our house. I cannot tell you how many hours we have all spent completely absorbed in the pages of his books. They are a gift to all, but especially for those for whom print can be an obstacle.

  8. Two of these were new to me. Can't wait to read them!

  9. LOVE David Wiesner - I got to hear him years ago in Georgia and I actually got "fan-girl" nervous getting his autograph - ha! That's not my norm, but I've just loved his work for so long. Thanks for sharing!


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