Franki’s Weekly Text Set: The Power of Visuals in Fiction and Nonfiction

Texts for this Text Set have been posted daily on Instagram. Follow @TextSets there to get daily updates!

This week, we’ll look at the Power of Visuals in both fiction and nonfiction. This is another study that is important as both readers and writers. More and more of our world is becoming visual and more and more books have embedded visuals that work together WITH the text. Learning to read visuals as part of a text and thinking about being intentional as a writer with the visuals we use are both critical.

If you have not had time to check out Uma Wimple Charts Her House, please do! This is a longer picture book that is full of charts, diagrams and other visuals. The focus of the story is on charting Uma’s house so it is a great book to begin a conversation around visuals to share information, to tell a story, etc. This one is also a great book to connect to math concepts. This is one readers will read and reread, noticing new things each time.

What’s Inside a Flower is one of my favorite new nonfiction books. This can be read from cover to cover or it can be studied based on what a reader wants to learn. Each page has visuals that can be studied. This would be a great book to project on a board to discuss the creation of the various visuals. And the colors in this one are unique which is another layer of thinking when it comes to visuals.

There is something about a graphic novel layout that is often challenging to understand and to create. I love a simple graphic novel that can be studied for design. This early graphic novel, Burt the Beetle Doesn’t Bite, shares lots of facts about insects. And it does so with humor. The layout and the way the text and dialogue are laid out on each page are all worth talking and thinking about. So many design decisions on each page.

How to Make a Book (About My Dog) is a new book by Chris Barton. I love it for thinking about the writing process but I also love the ways the visuals add so much to the text–breaking things down, etc. This is a fun book to read as part of your writing workshop. Then I can see going back to individual pages to really study the visuals that are embedded and how each helps the reader make meaning.

I LOVE everything about both of these books-Juana and Lucas and Make Meatballs Sing . I’d share them over and over with children. The reason I included them in this Text Set is the way that the words themselves are visuals. If you know the art of Corita Kent (which I did not before this book), much of her art is involves words. Words are the visuals in these books and there is so much to learn with this concept. In Juana and Lucas, there are other visuals throughout. I like the pairing of these as ways authors and artists create words in a way that moves them beyond “just text”.

This week’s books were linked at Bookelicious and/or  Cover to Cover Children’s Bookstore. If you are looking for a fabulous local children’s bookstore to support, Cover to Cover is an amazing one. We are lucky to have them in Central Ohio! If you don’t have an independent children’s bookstore in your town, check out Bookelicious. They are an online independent bookstore for children with an incredible curated collection.

Author: franki22

3rd Grade Teacher

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