27 January 2020
7.00–8.30pm (Doors 6.30pm)
Ask most people to name a wordless picturebook and they are likely to struggle for an answer. Yet within the world of children’s publishing there are many such titles, including perhaps the most well known, Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman. Using examples from my personal collection, which spans the 1960s to the present day, I will endeavour to introduce the audience to this under-appreciated area of children’s literature.
I’ll explain the term ‘wordless picturebook’ (sometimes known as ‘silent books’) and highlight some of the techniques artists use to tell their stories visually. I will also introduce listeners to a range of artists who work regularly in this field, and look at how they might approach a similar subject in different ways.
Books without words encourage the viewer to attempt a purely visual form of ‘reading’. This can be both demanding, as you have to work hard to ‘decode’ the pictures, and rewarding, as you ultimately become a ‘co-creator’ of the story. The real pleasure of these books for me, though, is that they provide the opportunity to immerse myself fully in the richness of the images, which are frequently quite stunning.
Clare Walters is a freelance editor and journalist. Together with a colleague, she’s written more than 30 books for both children and parents, and she has also co-written scripts for the BBC preschool TV series Balamory. She has a master’s degree in children’s literature and is an independent Artistic and Quality Assessor for Arts Council England. She runs the website wordlessbooks.co.uk based on her collection.
Photos by Sarah Snaith and John Walters
This lecture will be held in the intimate setting of our Passmore Edwards Room. Tickets are limited to 30 places and a complimentary drink is included in the ticket price.