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Older Children's Responses to Wordless Picturebooks: Making Connections

Iordanaki, L; (2020) Older Children's Responses to Wordless Picturebooks: Making Connections. Children's Literature in Education 10.1007/s10583-020-09424-7. (In press). Green open access

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This article explores 11-year-old children’s connections to prior knowledge and experiences while reading a wordless version of Little Red Riding Hood. The study extends pre-existing research on reader response theories by focusing on images instead of written text. The approach taken places emphasis on the reader’s active engagement, for readers use visual decoding skills and culturally oriented knowledge in an effort to interpret the wordless story and fill its gaps. A multiple case study design was implemented involving sixteen students from Greece and England, all being in the final year of primary school and identified as fluent readers. The participants in each country, separated into two groups of four, read the book in an empty classroom, with no teacher intervention. The aim was to identify patterns in their unmediated responses, and to present and analyse the themes of their connections based on empirical evidence. The participants linked the illustrations to their common general knowledge, including cultural references and gender-based generalisations, to personal experiences, and to other texts such as books and films. The findings reveal the prevalence of common themes in their interpretations of the story and encourage engagement with wordless picturebooks, even for older students. Due to their special nature and complexity, these books can initiate interesting conversations on issues such as identity and gender diversity.

Type: Article
Title: Older Children's Responses to Wordless Picturebooks: Making Connections
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10583-020-09424-7
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10583-020-09424-7
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Wordless picturebooks, Reader response, Connections, Intertextuality
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10124207
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