Zooming in on Wordless Picture Books at Harvard Yard

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Day 13 of #BTBC
Travel: Past adventures or future excursions

     There are few things that I love more than great illustrations in a picture book.  So, it would make sense that I love wordless picture books.  Every year I have managed to fit them into my year in some way, usually during lessons on making inferences or asking questions.  It is interesting reading a wordless picture book as a read aloud since their are no words, but they really let the reader bring their experiences and vocabulary to the text.

     This post is supposed to be about travel, and it happens to be my 12th wedding anniversary, so I thought I would veer down memory lane a bit and talk about our honeymoon to Boston.  While we were there, we took a trip out to Harvard and spent the day at Harvard Yard.  We went into the Harvard Book Store, and in a a store that contains classics and probably a book or two about rocket science (or something really smart) I went over to the children's section.  I found some awesome wordless picture books!

     Zoom and Re-Zoom, by Istvan Banyai (1995) are quite intense wordless picture books.  Each page that you turn shakes everything you thought you knew was happening, because every time you turn the page you find a miniature replica of the previous image in a completely different context.  With every "zoom" in, the story completely changes.  Amazon's description calls it mind bending, and I don't think I would disagree with that.  

     Here is an article written by Sylvia Pantaleo about 5th graders and their experiences with Zoom and Re-Zoom.  It is interesting to see their responses and how their thinking changed as they read on. Below is a slideshare of the book.  Before you read the kids' responses, spy on your own thinking about what you think is happening in the book.  Does your thinking change?

     I can't write a post about wordless picture books without two other quick recommendations.  David Wiesner is my all time favorite wordless book author (but some of his books do have text).
Seeing that it is the 13th, and that is my anniversary, I would be remiss to not recommend the virtually wordless book The 13th Clue.  I am also posting a picture of my husband and I from way back when.  Happy Anniversary to us!


  1. WOW! My 19th anniversary is coming up...and we honeymooned in Boston! Thanks for some interesting book recommendations.

  2. Happy Anniversary! By the way, I love David Weisner books, too! I own The Three Pigs, Tuesday, Mr. Wuffles, and Art & Max! Such fun stuff. Thanks for sharing! ;)

  3. Happy Anniversary! Who else but you can post this and then present a workshop on conferring 15 minutes later! #nextlevel