Wonderfully Wordless: The 500 Most Recommended Graphic Novels and Picture Books (Hardback)
  • Wonderfully Wordless: The 500 Most Recommended Graphic Novels and Picture Books (Hardback)

Wonderfully Wordless: The 500 Most Recommended Graphic Novels and Picture Books (Hardback)

Hardback 334 Pages / Published: 15/10/2015
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Wonderfully Wordless: The 500 Most Recommended Graphic Novels and Picture Books is the first comprehensive best book guide to wordless picture books (and nearly wordless picture books). It is an indispensable resource for parents and teachers who love graphic storytelling or who recognize the value of these exceptional books in working with different types of students, particularly preschool, English as a Second Language (ESL), and special needs, and creative writers. Every age group will benefit from Wonderfully Wordless, from babies and toddlers encountering their first books, to elementary age children captivated by the popular fantasy and adventure themes, to teenagers attracted to graphic novels because of their more intense content and comic book format. Even adults who are not yet readers will benefit from this uniquely authoritative resource because it will provide a bridge to literacy and give them books that they can immediately share with their children. The 500 books included here are generated from a database with 7,300 booklist entries. In essence, the ranked list emerging from this compilation will constitute "votes" for the most popular titles, the ones most experts agree are the best. By pooling the expertise from the US and other English-speaking countries, Wonderfully Wordless is an unrivaled core list of classic and contemporary titles. This authoritative reference book conveys not the opinion of one expert, but the combined opinions of a legion of experts. If a single picture is worth a thousand words, then a multitude of the picture-only texts is worth a compendium.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781442254770
Number of pages: 334
Weight: 649 g
Dimensions: 236 x 161 x 28 mm

'A growing body of research and classroom experience shows the crucial role wordless picture books can play in promoting discussion, inspiring creativity, and boosting language development,' notes Martin's introduction. When schools and libraries do wholeheartedly embrace the format, they will be most fortunate to have this spectacularly authoritative resource waiting for them. Compiled out of the choices of librarians, educators and reviewers from around the world, no dark corner is left unexplored, illuminating a far greater array of choices than any reader might have guessed. The choices, furthermore, are ideally arranged for both browsing and targeted navigation, with more than 30 topic-focused chapters covering everything from fantasy, mystery, and comedy, to curricular topics like friendship, numbers and letters, and environmental awareness, delving even into the format's history in woodcut picture books. The choices themselves range from the greats (The Snowman, Flotsam, The Arrival) to the most obscure (ever hear of The Creepy Thing or Ben's Bunny Trouble?), and each one is accompanied by an astute paragraph of commentary. Further sections break the choices down more specifically, granting even greater maneuverability and guaranteeing that every teacher, librarian, parent, or casual reader will find a wellspring of heretofore unimagined possibilities. Absolutely indispensable. * Booklist, Starred Review *
Martin, an educator and politician, after discovering the joy and value of wordless picture books, sought to create an authoritative reference of the best wordless picture books and graphic novels. His database includes more than 7,000 title entries that represent over 140 different sources (reference books, award lists, blogs, etc.) as well as the authors conversations with librarians from many prominent U.S. institutions. Each entry for a book counts as a 'vote,' and the volume presents the top 500 books from the database . . . [T]he author is to be commended in his efforts to create an 'authoritative' reference. * Library Journal *
Divided into thematic sections-Fabulous Friendships, Aquatic Adventures, etc.-this is a fabulous recommendation tool for parents and educators. * Foreword Reviews *
Wonderfully Wordless is a book listing 500 books with little or no text, purported to be the `most recommended' for preschoolers to teens. . . .Selected by 135 experts from 7200 titles, of mostly US and English origin, this collection has been collated into themes e.g. Classic Tales, For and About Babies, Concepts Galore, Numbers and Letters, Fascinating Fantasies, Creative Journeys, Difficult Challenges. Each review comes with a concise synopsis, an age recommendation and a black and white cover image. . . .[This is] a useful reference tool for sourcing titles for libraries and for researchers studying the movement of picture books and graphic novels up to the date of its publication. * Reading Time *
Wonderfully Wordless: The 500 Most Recommended Graphic Novels and Picture Books is the first in-depth study for wordless and almost-wordless picture books, and gives teachers and parents a fine resource for identifying and using these particular kinds of graphic stories in classroom or home settings. The age ranges move from babies to ESL adults, so there's a very wide range of subjects and approaches included in discussions that have narrowed databases of thousands of titles down to the 500 most highly recommended. Experts from the U.S. and abroad joined together for this project, so Wonderfully Wordless doesn't reflect a singular approach or expert opinion, but represents the combined wisdom of top literary experts. Moreover, books are arranged by theme and each book receives a small black and white cover photo, a synopsis, and indication of age range. Other references are included in back of the book, making for an important, key reference for any who regularly work with picture books and their readers. * Donovan's Bookshelf *
In recent years more and more wordless books have been published, many to great acclaim. But wordless books have a long and rich history, one that is unfamiliar to most people. William Martin's Wonderfully Wordless sheds a long overdue light on the wildly imaginative and creative history of this genre. I have spent my entire career making wordless stories and thought I had a pretty comprehensive knowledge of wordless books. What a delight it was to find myself immediately scribbling down title after title that was new to me. Wonderful. -- David Wiesner, renowned wordless book artist, only the second artist to ever win three Caldecott Medals
This is an invaluable guide to the entire range of picture stories for all ages. If you're a fan of wordless books or if you are just discovering this vital art form, William Martin's Wonderfully Wordless is an essential roadmap to this silent universe. -- Peter Kuper, illustrator of Mad magazine's Spy vs. Spy comic strip and lecturer at Harvard University
William Martin has done an astounding job in gathering wordless book titles that he has meticulously classified into themes that would make any teacher, parent, or any avid reader for that matter - find something that would be of interest to them at specific points in their lives: be it for babies, tweens, adolescents, or adults. This is a definitive resource of wordless graphic novels and picture books painstakingly organized into themes such as "acts of kindness", "creative journeys", "fabulous friendships", "weird encounters", "edifying exploits", "marvelous mysteries" just to cite a few. This is a labor of love, indeed, and as an avid bibliophile fascinated with visual literacy and the many wonders that wordless books have to offer, I would make it one of my life's mission as a reader to find the book titles that he has included here. -- Bacsal Rhoda Myra Garces, assistant professor and coordinator of High Ability Studies and Gifted Education at the National Institute of Education, Singapore
Whether you are a parent, a teacher, a librarian, or just someone who enjoys visual narrative, you will find this an amazing resource. Books are cross-referenced and categorized in ways that suggest numerous approaches for sharing and enjoying these titles with children. As a part-time children's bookseller, I went through this list making copious notes on titles I want to add to our inventory. As a writer, I was humbled by this overwhelming evidence that a picture is truly worth a thousand words. -- Jennifer Armstrong, bookseller and author of more than 100 children's books
Martin's book captures the rich diversity and international flavor of sequential art in all its forms. It is the definitive guide to the wordless novel. -- Stefan Berg, graphic novelist and author of Let That Bad Air Out
Wordless books are wonderful in that they encourage creativity, imagination and visual understanding. All of these are indispensable for human development, but have been neglected in our society. This book will make it easier to find these beneficial books and have the benefits. It is the fruit of patient research. But if you read the list of categories, which feels like a poem, you will find that there is a lot of heart in this book too. For me this is important. -- Giora Carmi, art therapist and author of The Basis of Psychotherapy Through Art
Wonderfully Wordless is truly wonderful--this comprehensive survey documents the variety and nuance of visual language employed by artists across decades and around the globe. -- Mary DePalma, uthor of Bow-Wow Wiggle-Waggle, a Bank Street College of Education Best Book
Comprehensive, concise, and engaging, a great handbook for anyone interested in the art of telling stories with pictures. It is the only book of its kind and long overdue! -- Rebecca Dudley, author of Hank Has a Dream
Wonderfully Wordless is a comprehensive and timely resource for educators and speech language pathologists who are working with children and adolescents. It will definitely be listed as a resource on my syllabi addressing intervention for children with language delays and disorders. -- Sandra Gillam, professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education at Utah State University
What began on cave walls nearly 50,000 years ago continues today on pages and screens--visual storytellers leading our eye from panel to panel and page to page, our eye driven by that ever-burning question of a good story-`And then what happened?' How wonderful to have as knowledgeable and insightful a guide as Bill Martin leading us into these modern caves to point out many a hidden room and vast stores of forgotten treasure. -- Jamichael Henterly, teacher of illustration and drawing at Western Washington University
Dr. Martin's Wonderfully Wordless does an amazing job of organizing and distilling a wide variety of wordless graphic novels and picture books into useful categories to help us find those that are most worthy of reading. Overall, it's a great list of recommended titles and includes many remarkable wordless book creators from Lynd Ward and Tana Hoban to Shaun Tan. -- Lita Judge, author of Good Morning to Me!
All the words you'll ever need to find that perfectly wordless read. -- Stephen Michael King, award-winning author of Bella's Bad Hair Day
Wonderfully Wordless is an awe-inspiring sourcebook! By gathering 500 of the greatest achievements in this fascinating art form, William Martin places nearly a century of ideas and information within your grasp. If you love picture books, you should own and read this book. -- Jeff Mack, illustrator of Hurry! Hurry!, a School Library Journal Best Book
It is with huge enthusiasm that I welcome William Patrick Martin's compendium, Wonderfully Wordless: The 500 Most Recommended Graphic Novels and Picture Books. At last an authoritative list, gathered from all over the world, appealing to all ages and all tastes, a formal and useful recognition that these kinds of books deserve a category of their own. I am particularly charmed by the titles of the categories Martin uses, 33 in all: `Acts of Kindness,' `Lost and Found,' `Dreamy Departures,' `Concepts Galore,' are a few which appeal particularly to me ... This is a very perceptive list full of unusual and wonderful books, and I for one will be clearing my bookshelves to make space for some exciting new titles I had not known about before. -- Domenica More-Gordon, author of Archie and Archie's Vacation
Wonderfully Wordless is a fantastic book. I had no idea there were so many wordless picture books out there, let alone great ones. Martin has provided a valuable resource to readers everywhere. -- Josh Simmons, author of the graphic novels The Furry Trap and Black River
More than a mere list, this informative, well organized compilation of illustration-only titles, provides a curiosity igniting spark that will no doubt lead to multiple excursions to my local library and bookstore! -- Brad Sneed, author of Picture a Letter
Wonderfully Wordless is a comprehensive and eloquent guide to the oft-neglected genre of wordless books. Gathering extensive data from well-known and trusted sources, Martin has created a very accessible and authoritative guide to the genre. Book entries are informative, concise, and include age guidelines. A definite must-have for readers' advisory! -- Rebecca Swanger, adult services librarian, Joseph T. Simpson Public Library
William Martin should not only be excused for using an abundance of words in Wonderfully Wordless, he should be applauded. His expansive, insightful and ambitious survey of the 500 most recommended wordless graphic novels and picture books is an indispensible resource for librarians, educators and parents who value exposing children to an endlessly ethereal world of rich stories not dependent on objective text, but upon evocative imagery. Bravo. -- Bob Staake, author of Bluebird
The aptly named Wonderfully Wordless, with its concise descriptions and thoughtful selections, will be an indispensible resource to all collectors and scholars who appreciate visual storytelling and want to dig a little deeper into this graphic tradition. The accessible nature of the visual narrative has an innate appeal for many different types of students. This book provides an excellent resource encompassing everything from essential xylographic novels to board books. -- George A. Walker, graphic novelist and professor at the Ontario College of Art & Design University
This best book guide should be in every school, community, and university library. It should be required reading for anyone who aspires to illustrate children's books or create graphic novels. -- Hyewon Yum, Golden Kite Award author of Last Night

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