Friday, June 20, 2014
Reading without Words
Ben and I recently discovered the Caldecott-Award winning picture book, Journey by Aaron Becker. It is the beautifully illustrated story of a lonely girl who takes matters into her own hands and draws her way into a breathtaking adventure. Plot-wise, it is akin to Harold and the Purple Crayon, but where Harold draws his mode of transport, as well as the simple purple world around him, the girl in this book uses her drawing to transport herself into complex and otherwise existing worlds and adventures. It is not to say that one is better than the other, but simply that Journey is a book that could probably play to a wider and older audience.
At first, I wasn't sure if Ben would enjoy this book. There aren't any words, and he has lately prided himself on wanting stories that we can "read" (he's 3.5 and doesn't really read yet). But, it didn't matter. He loved asking about where she was going and pointing out what she was drawing and how she was going to get from one place to the next. When we were done with the book, he jumped up from the couch and said, "Let's go get our crayons and draw our own journey!" And, of course, that's the exciting reaction I always like to see a book have on a reader.
Other wordless/nearly wordless picture books we've enjoyed include: