Saturday, November 19, 2016

Highly Illustrated Fiction: Supporting Developing Readers -- presentation at #NCTE16

Many of my students are drawn to books with lots of illustrations. I've often wondered how these books appeal to readers, especially those who are developing their reading skills. They certainly love the humor conveyed in pictures, but I think it's more.

Illustrations support our developing readers, giving them a moment to rest during the hard work of reading. They provide support as readers build a picture in their mind. A mentor of mine compared illustrations to a rock you can land on as you make your way across a stream. No wonder elementary school kids seek them out!

I'm excited to lead a conversation with four authors & illustrators at this week's annual convention of the National Council of Teacher of English. We'll talk about their craft as writers and illustrators, focusing on the way they use a combination of illustrations and text to tell their stories. I hope you can join us.
Abby Hanlon writes and illustrates the Dory Fantasmagory series. I absolutely adore Dory's energy and spirt. Abby fills her pages with childlike drawings that help convey they story and Dory's imagination.

Nick Bruel fills Bad Kitty with snarky humor that gets my students laughing and asking for more. What more could I want in a book? With swift pacing, lots of visual humor and high energy, Bad Kitty stories are a big hit in our library.

Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce tap into kids' love of animals and magic to bring us the character of Pip Bartlett who can talk to magical animals like unicorns, Fuzzles, Griffins and more. I love the way that Pip uses her knowledge and imagination to save her town from impending disaster.

Here is a booklist with recommendations for students who like lots of illustrations to help bring stories alive. These are not graphic novels, but rather hybrids that combine text and illustration.
click for printable PDF version
I really see illustrated fiction as appealing to students along a continuum, from early chapter books through much longer fiction. I hope you find some books here to engage your readers. Come join us for the conversation!

©2016 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

1 comment:

  1. I'm a huge fan of illustrated fiction and love the books you've listed here! (Nick Bruel is my hero!) I also write the illustrated middle grade Mr. Puffball books in case you're looking for more of this type. Thanks for the fun blog!