Drawn Together

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Written by Minh Lê, Illustrated by Dan Santat

Publisher’s Summary:
A boy and his grandfather cross a language and cultural barrier using their shared love of art, storytelling, and fantasy.

Primary Source Pairing:
This book is a visual literacy wonderland. From the cover, to the endpapers, and to each detail on each page, there is so much to see and experience through the illustrations. Minh Lê’s sparse text paired with Dan Santat’s dual-narrative illustrations create a visual experience that is meant to be savored slowly. For this primary source pairing, invite students to study the cover, of the book first and then the title page. Compare the two and how they are similar and different. Next, study the endpapers and discuss the questions students have about the different styles of art. Make connections to the cover, title page, and end papers. Through this visual literacy exploration using just these four parts of the book (cover, title page, and two sets of end papers), students can infer what the story may be about. Finally, begin reading the book. Make note of expressions on faces, use of color, and how the illustrations make the reader feel. All of these visual literacy experiences will enhance this text to create a full and complete reading experience for students.

If in a virtual or hybrid learning environment, use a document camera to project the illustrations of this book. The fine detail and cinema-style scenes will be well-suited for a full screen view. Remind students to use directional words as they are pointing out details from a video call or from their socially-distanced desks. Using directional words is an effective speaking tool that can be developed during primary source analysis and visual literacy experiences.

Questions for Discussion:

  • What do you notice when you look at the cover?
  • What do you notice when you look at the title page?
  • What do you notice when you look at the front and back end papers?
  • Make connections between the cover, title page, and end papers in this book. What is the same? What is different?
  • Based on what you see (before you start the book!), what do you think Drawn Together will be about? Use visual evidence to support your ideas.
  • What do you notice about illustrator Dan Santat’s artwork for this book?
  • How do the illustrations compliment the words written by author  Minh Lê?
  • Make a connection to the characters in the book.

Book Cover and Summary: Follett

Minh Lê website: http://minhlebooks.com/
Dan Santat website: https://www.dantat.com/