Written and Illustrated by Aaron Becker
A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.
Primary Source Pairing:
Wordless picture books are visual literacy treasure troves! So much analysis can be done for each page of the book. Wordless picture books like Journey encourage inferencing, sequencing, prediction, and imagination. Let wordless picture books be your primary source. Let the images create an opportunity for a careful read – a slow look to fully comprehend all the details. For this primary source pairing, choose one page or a two-page spread and analyze the illustrations. Consider how this page or page spread is a stand-alone illustration and how it contributes to the story as a whole.
Questions for Discussion:
- Describe what you see.
- What do you notice first?
- Find something small but interesting.
- What’s happening in the image
- What people and objects are shown?
- How are they arranged?
- What is the physical setting?
- What do you notice that you didn’t expect?
- What do you notice that you can’t explain?
- How is this image part of the story as a whole?
Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Journey Image: Aaron Becker’s website
Resources on Wordless Picture Books:
Creative Writing Through Wordless Picture Books: ReadWriteThink.org
Jim Trelease: Wordless Picture Books: Pre-KPages.com
Sharing Wordless Picture Books: ReadingRockets.org
Why Wordless Picture Books Work: Scholastic.com