Friday, September 10, 2010

Picture Book: Chalk

This wordless picturebook is very much in the style of David Wiesner, whose classic titles (Sector 7, Tuesday) have inspired kids to create their own stories based on his detailed and fantastical works of art.

In Bill Tompson's excellent title, three elementary aged kids find a bag of chalk at the playground, and proceed to draw amazing things into reality. Of course, when one of the kids draws up a dinosaur, much chasing and fleeing ensues. The solution? Quick, draw a rainstorm to wash all that chalk away! The simple plot is built around an engaging, if familiar premise. Kids who are newcomers to the wordless format will be able to immediately pick up on what's happening without too much effort. Because of this accessibility, Chalk would be a great choice for a reluctant reader.

The art in this title is the real standout. Crystal clear, photo-realistic images of engaging multi-ethnic kids will captivate readers. The unique perspectives and spot-on expressions lend interest to the simple plot. The sheer beauty of the illustrations will certainly capture the interest of most kids instantly.

As with many wordless picturebooks, the title would shine as the subject of a group discussion, particularly for boys or reluctant readers. The story invites questions like "What will happen next?" and "what would you have drawn?". Wordless picturebooks are always a great way to build engagement and print motivation, but this title is especially well suited to rambunctious grade k-3's.

Wordless Picturebook
Grade k-3
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