Quicklinks
Log in
Register a new group
Judging criteria
Ideas - what to do
Resources
Publicising your group
Publicity downloads
Book supply
Timetable
Contact us

The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal - Visual Literacy Activities
by Liz George



THE SHORTLIST

BANANA!
LITTLE MOUSE'S BIG BOOK OF FEARS
THE LOST HAPPY ENDINGS
MONKEY AND ME
OTTOLINE AND THE YELLOW CAT
PENGUIN
SILLY BILLY


Banana!
Written & illustrated by Ed Vere
ISBN: 9780141500591

Use the red double page spread with the red and white stripy topped monkey having a tantrum.

LEARNING TO LOOK

This activity is to encourage children to look more closely and critically at illustrations. It can be modelled whilst working with the whole class or a mixed ability group, it encourages children to offer their personal interpretation of the illustration and to share and shape their ideas orally in a collaborative setting.

The aims of this activity are:

  • to increase the interaction with and enjoyment of picture books for children of all ages
  • to develop children's confidence and vocabulary to respond to what they see - to observe and describe

  • to encourage them to build on their previous experience, imagination and understanding to make sense of visual information - to interpret

  • to consider a variety of graphic forms and their interaction with a text in order to convey layers of meaning - to appreciate

  • to recognise different styles and techniques used and developed by a variety of illustrators - to analyse
  • to begin to recognise and appreciate visual metaphor, irony, puns and jokes etc. - to participate

The following questions have been designed to help children to look more closely at the illustrative work of Ed Vere moving from the whole picture to the smallest part and to search for and use all available clues given by the artist to make meaning. Please select and adapt the questions to make them appropriate for your setting.

If possible give children one copy of the picture to share between two or use an enlarged picture that everyone can see.

TELL ME ABOUT ED VERE'S ILLUSTRATION. . .

Please select/adapt questions, which you think are most appropriate for the children you are working with. . .

Look at the background colour of this page. How would you describe it? What kind of emotion is it helping to depict?

What is the focus of this picture? How has the illustrator drawn attention to it? Who's got it and who wants it?

What is the effect of the distance between the two monkeys?

How has the illustrator given attention to the speech bubble and the word 'Banana!'?

Describe how the word 'Banana' has been written. What do you notice about the lines?

How does the look of the word help you to know how it is being spoken by monkey?

The 'gutter' is the centre of the book where the pages are sewn together. What is the effect of the first monkey's tail overlapping the gutter?

Who is the dominant character on this page? How has your attention been drawn to them?

There is a lot of movement throughout this page, how has that been created?

What effect do the lines around the temper tantrum monkey's arms and legs have on your understanding of his behaviour?

Describe his/her tears. What sort of tears are they?

What do you notice about his/her facial expression?

Notice the crumpled lips, what does this suggest for you?

How do you know that this monkey is having a temper tantrum rather than being the victim of a banana burglar?

Look at the second monkey's facial expression, what does this tell you about him/her?

Which other features and bodily gestures do you notice about this monkey?

What do they tell you about his/her personality and character?

Who do you think s/he is looking at?

How do you think s/he is feeling about the temper tantrum monkey?

How would you describe this illustrative style?

What do you notice about the outlines and the application of colour on the characters and objects?

What medium do you think has been used?

There is no white border around this page, what is the effect of the blanket of red?

Why do you think the second monkey has not been given any dialogue or for example thought bubbles? What do you think s/he would be saying or thinking?

What would you do about the monkey having a tantrum?


WRITE IT DOWN

Harvest children's responses and record their descriptions and comments on a flip chart. Are there any aspects of the picture that they find particularly interesting or puzzling?


Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears
Written & illustrated by Emily Gravett
ISBN: 9781405089487

Use the double page spread depicting the Visitors' Map of the Isle of Fright.

LEARNING TO LOOK

This activity is to encourage children to look more closely and critically at illustrations. It can be modelled whilst working with the whole class or a mixed ability group, it encourages children to offer their personal interpretation of the illustration and to share and shape their ideas orally in a collaborative setting.

The aims of this activity are:

  • to increase the interaction with and enjoyment of picture books for children of all ages

  • to develop children's confidence and vocabulary to respond to what they see - to observe and describe

  • to encourage them to build on their previous experience, imagination and understanding to make sense of visual information - to interpret

  • to consider a variety of graphic forms and their interaction with a text in order to convey layers of meaning - to appreciate

  • to recognise different styles and techniques used and developed by a variety of illustrators - to analyse

  • to begin to recognise and appreciate visual metaphor, irony, puns and jokes etc. - to participate

The following questions have been designed to help children to look more closely at the illustrative work of Emily Gravett, moving from the whole picture to the smallest part and to search for and use all available clues given by the artist to make meaning. Please select and adapt the questions to make them appropriate for your setting.

If possible give children one copy of the picture to share between two or use an enlarged picture that everyone can see.

TELL ME ABOUT EMILY GRAVETT'S ILLUSTRATION-

Please select/adapt questions, which you think are most appropriate for the children you are working with-

What is your initial impression of these two pages?

What is the effect of the stain down the gutter of the book and to the edge of the left hand page?

Describe how you imagine these dirty pages might smell.

How would you describe the nibbling of the pencil, what sort of character do you think has chewed into this and the edge of the pages?

What do you notice about the quality of the writing and its direction across and over the two pages? Who do you think wrote this? Who does the pencil belong to?

How are the dictionary definitions in the top corners delineated from the rest of the page? Are these real words?

What are the predominant colours used on these pages?

Now look at the map's cover. What is your initial impression of it?

What kind of place do you think the Isle of Fright might be?

Open the map. Who or what do you first notice and how do you feel?

Why is the mouse clinging onto a paper clip?

This map at first appears to be an ordinary ordinance survey map. How has its authenticity in terms of layout and features such as the legend and detail contributed to the humour of these pages?

What do you notice about the colours used on the map?

Why do you think Emily Gravett has chosen to use such muted tones?

The island looks like a biological drawing of the inside of a mouse? How does looking inside a mouse make you feel?

How would you describe the humour on this page?

How do you set about reading this map? Where do you start? How has the illustrator directed how you read this page?

Look on the back of the map, how do these personal details affect your interaction with this book and its creator, Emily Gravett?

Whose fears do you think these are the Mouse's or Emily's?

What is the effect of having this fold out map in the middle of the book? In what ways does it contribute to your involvement and enjoyment with the story?

How do the treatments and page effects contribute to the overall atmosphere of the story telling?

When do you think this story was set? What clues have you used to answer this question?


WRITE IT DOWN

Harvest children's responses and record their descriptions and comments on a flip chart. Are there any aspects of the picture that they find particularly interesting or puzzling?


The Lost Happy Endings
Written & illustrated by Carol Ann Duffy & Jane Ray
ISBN: 9780747579229

Use the double page spread depicting Jub sitting on the oak tree emptying her sack of happy endings.

LEARNING TO LOOK

This activity is to encourage children to look more closely and critically at illustrations. It can be modelled whilst working with the whole class or a mixed ability group, it encourages children to offer their personal interpretation of the illustration and to share and shape their ideas orally in a collaborative setting.

The aims of this activity are:

  • to increase the interaction with and enjoyment of picture books for children of all ages

  • to develop children's confidence and vocabulary to respond to what they see - to observe and describe

  • to encourage them to build on their previous experience, imagination and understanding to make sense of visual information - to interpret

  • to consider a variety of graphic forms and their interaction with a text in order to convey layers of meaning - to appreciate

  • to recognise different styles and techniques used and developed by a variety of illustrators - to analyse

  • to begin to recognise and appreciate visual metaphor, irony, puns and jokes etc. - to participate

The following questions have been designed to help children to look more closely at the illustrative work of Jane Ray, moving from the whole picture to the smallest part and to search for and use all available clues given by the artist to make meaning. Please select and adapt the questions to make them appropriate for your setting.

If possible give children one copy of the picture to share between two or use an enlarged picture that everyone can see.

TELL ME ABOUT JANE RAY'S ILLUSTRATION. . .

Please select/adapt questions, which you think are most appropriate for the children you are working with. . .

Describe how your eyes are drawn across these pages, what do you notice?

In what ways has Jane Ray grabbed your attention?

How would you describe the way in which Jane Ray has presented this tree?

Look at the way the oak tree is cut in half by the gutter of the book, we do not see any other trees or the floor of the forest. Now read the text. How has the illustrator worked with the text to help you draw the rest of the forest in your mind's eye?

How tall and wide do you think this tree is?

How would you feel about being in this forest?

What is your overall response to the picture, how does it make you feel?

What is the effect of the gold lettering and gold stars? What do they remind you of?

Where is the movement in this picture coming from? How does it make you feel?

What do you notice about Jub?

Look at the contrast between her heavy brown coat and her delicate white lacy edged dress. What do her clothes tell you about her personality?

Why do you think Jane Ray has chosen to give Jub red wellington boots?

Notice how the birds are used across the pages, what do they bring to this illustration?

If you were able to hear sounds from these pages, what would they be? How has the illustrator suggested these sounds?

What do you notice about the night sky? How would you describe this blue?

Look at the complete oak tree and the way the text grows around it. In what ways has the illustrator linked these two pages together?

Who do you think wrote the happy endings in the illustration, Jane Ray or Carol Ann Duffy?

What materials do you think Jane Ray has used to create these pictures? Look at her use of brush strokes and colour, where has she given most attention to detail?

In what ways do these pictures interact with the text of the story?

Have a go at reading the story endings. What stories do you think they might be from?

What do you notice about the different styles of font? Can you hear the voices speaking them?


WRITE IT DOWN

Harvest children's responses and record their descriptions and comments on a flip chart. Are there any aspects of the picture that they find particularly interesting or puzzling?


Monkey and Me
Written & illustrated by Emily Gravett
ISBN: 9781405089494

Use the double page spread depicting monkey and me asleep at the kitchen table.

LEARNING TO LOOK

This activity is to encourage children to look more closely and critically at illustrations. It can be modelled whilst working with the whole class or a mixed ability group, it encourages children to offer their personal interpretation of the illustration and to share and shape their ideas orally in a collaborative setting.

The aims of this activity are:

  • to increase the interaction with and enjoyment of picture books for children of all ages

  • to develop children's confidence and vocabulary to respond to what they see - to observe and describe

  • to encourage them to build on their previous experience, imagination and understanding to make sense of visual information - to interpret

  • to consider a variety of graphic forms and their interaction with a text in order to convey layers of meaning - to appreciate

  • to recognise different styles and techniques used and developed by a variety of illustrators - to analyse

  • to begin to recognise and appreciate visual metaphor, irony, puns and jokes etc. - to participate

The following questions have been designed to help children to look more closely at the illustrative work of Emily Gravett, moving from the whole picture to the smallest part and to search for and use all available clues given by the artist to make meaning. Please select and adapt the questions to make them appropriate for your setting.

If possible give children one copy of the picture to share between two or use an enlarged picture that everyone can see.

TELL ME ABOUT EMILY GRAVETT'S ILLUSTRATION. . .

Please select/adapt questions, which you think are most appropriate for the children you are working with. . .

There are only three words of text on this page, how do they work with the illustration?

How would you describe the atmosphere on this page?

How do the colours and tones help to create the peace and quiet?

Where is the colour in this picture and how is it used?

Focus on Monkey and me, how would you describe their bodily gestures?

How do you know 'me' has fallen asleep exhausted?

Describe Monkey and me's facial expressions. Do you think they are dreaming? What do you think they are dreaming about?

This is the end of the day and the end of the story and on the edge of the table is a picture. Why do you think Emily Gravett has included this? What is it telling you about?

How would you describe Emily Gravett's illustrative style?

What do you notice about the way she draws? What tools do you think she's used to draw with?

What do you know about this little girl from this picture and how does it help you understand the story?

'Monkey' is 'me's' cuddly toy. Where do you think the other monkey may have come from?

How has the illustrator differentiated between the two monkeys so that you know which one is 'real'?

Consider this monkey's bodily gestures and facial expressions. What do they tell you about its character? How do you know what it is thinking?

Why do you think that Emily Gravett has only showed us part of the monkey's body? What effect does this have?

What is that monkey looking at? What do you think it wants?

How has this picture been arranged on the page?

Why do you think it has been drawn on the bottom of the page?

Why do you think that the illustrator has chosen to keep a white background?

There are no borders around this page, the picture goes right to the edge. How does this affect how you view the scene? Are you in it, on the edge of it or are you an outside observer?

In what ways does the uncluttered nature of this picture add to the tranquillity of the scene?

There is potential for this story to continue, where is that impetus coming from?

WRITE IT DOWN

Harvest children's responses and record their descriptions and comments on a flip chart. Are there any aspects of the picture that they find particularly interesting or puzzling?


Ottoline and the Yellow Cat
Written & illustrated by Chris Riddell
ISBN: 9781405050579

Use double page spread on pages 164 and 165.

LEARNING TO LOOK

This activity is to encourage children to look more closely and critically at illustrations. It can be modelled whilst working with the whole class or a mixed ability group, it encourages children to offer their personal interpretation of the illustration and to share and shape their ideas orally in a collaborative setting.

The aims of this activity are:

  • to increase the interaction with and enjoyment of picture books for children of all ages

  • to develop children's confidence and vocabulary to respond to what they see - to observe and describe

  • to encourage them to build on their previous experience, imagination and understanding to make sense of visual information - to interpret

  • to consider a variety of graphic forms and their interaction with a text in order to convey layers of meaning - to appreciate

  • to recognise different styles and techniques used and developed by a variety of illustrators - to analyse

  • to begin to recognise and appreciate visual metaphor, irony, puns and jokes etc. - to participate

The following questions have been designed to help children to look more closely at the illustrative work of Chris Riddell, moving from the whole picture to the smallest part and to search for and use all available clues given by the artist to make meaning. Please select and adapt the questions to make them appropriate for your setting.

If possible give children one copy of the picture to share between two or use an interactive whiteboard or visualiser to enlarge the pages so that everyone can see.

TELL ME ABOUT CHRIS RIDDELL'S ILLUSTRATION. . .

Please select/adapt questions, which you think are most appropriate for the children you are working with. . .

How do your eyes scan these two pages? Do you read the words or the pictures first? How has Chris Riddell influenced the way you read the words and pictures?

What is the effect of colour on these pages? Where is it and how does its use impact on the mood created?

What do you notice about the position of the bear on the page? Look at the bear's left foot. Where do you think the bear is going? How does this make you feel?

In what ways has Chris Riddell portrayed the strength and power of this bear?

Chris Riddell has maintained an essence of real Canadian bear. In what ways do you notice the bear's anthropomorphic qualities? Why are these important in terms of the development of the story?

What attitudes and emotions are being expressed by the onlookers on this page? How would you describe the expressions on their faces?

Describe how the Yellow Cat might be feeling whilst caught in Ča big bear hug.' How has Chris Riddell helped you interpret the cat's response?

How would you imagine that Chris Riddell has drawn these pictures? What do you think he used and how quickly do you think he works?

How does he use lines to create shading and contrast?

Look at page 165. The Yellow Cat is much taller than Ottoline but who do you think is the more dominant character? Consider the Yellow Cat's:

  • posture

  • body language

  • facial expression

  • movement

  • distance from Ottoline

  • appearance

  • clothing

Why hasn't Chris Riddell coloured the Yellow Cat yellow? Does it matter?

Now compare Ottoline's posture and body language to that of the cats, what do you notice?

What effects do the pointed patterns on her dressing gown and the way her hood hangs have on your response to her?

Each chapter has been given a different decoration to border page numbers. What do you notice about these page numbers and their position on the page? Why do you think they have been presented in this way?

Which character is the focus of these two pages? What has helped you formulate your response?

WRITE IT DOWN

Harvest children's responses and record their descriptions and comments on a flip chart. Are there any aspects of the picture that they find particularly interesting or puzzling?

Penguin
Written & illustrated by Polly Dunbar
ISBN: 9781844280650

Use the double page spread depicting the penguin looking at the lion that is licking its paw.

LEARNING TO LOOK

This activity is to encourage children to look more closely and critically at illustrations. It can be modelled whilst working with the whole class or a mixed ability group, it encourages children to offer their personal interpretation of the illustration and to share and shape their ideas orally in a collaborative setting.

The aims of this activity are:

  • to increase the interaction with and enjoyment of picture books for children of all ages

  • to develop children's confidence and vocabulary to respond to what they see - to observe and describe
  • to encourage them to build on their previous experience, imagination and understanding to make sense of visual information - to interpret

  • to consider a variety of graphic forms and their interaction with a text in order to convey layers of meaning - to appreciate

  • to recognise different styles and techniques used and developed by a variety of illustrators - to analyse

  • to begin to recognise and appreciate visual metaphor, irony, puns and jokes etc. - to participate

The following questions have been designed to help children to look more closely at the illustrative work of Polly Dunbar, moving from the whole picture to the smallest part and to search for and use all available clues given by the artist to make meaning. Please select and adapt the questions to make them appropriate for your setting.

If possible give children one copy of the picture to share between two or use an enlarged picture that everyone can see.

TELL ME ABOUT POLLY DUNBAR'S ILLUSTRATION. . .

Please select/adapt questions, which you think are most appropriate for the children you are working with. . .

Describe the Lion. Are you afraid of it?

Do you think that the Penguin is afraid of this Lion?

Is there anything about it which puzzles you?

What do you think the Lion has just eaten?

How would you describe how the Lion is feeling at this point?

Why do you think Polly Dunbar has chosen to stretch its body across both pages?

How would you describe the Lion's posture and body language?

Where is the movement coming from in this picture?

If you could hear sounds coming from this illustration, what might they be?

Look at its tail and back leg, what character traits does this convey?

The Lion's eyes are closed, what does this tell you about his mood and character?

Do you think that the lion knows that the Penguin is looking at him?

Why do you think the illustrator has depicted the Lion in tones of blues and greens?

How do you know this is a Lion?

Look closely at the way Polly Dunbar has drawn the mane, how has she created this effect?

What materials do you think she has used to create this illustration?

Contrast the depiction of the Penguin with that of the Lion - what do you notice about the use of line and application of colour?

Does the way in which the characters have been drawn affect your understanding of their personality and nature?

What is the effect of placing the Penguin on the bottom left hand side of the page? Do you think s/he's safe?

Describe Penguin's expression. What do you notice about the eye?

How has the author/illustrator engaged you with both the words and pictures on this page?

Which character do you learn more about on this page? Why?

Tell me what you know about the Penguin, can you say anything about its character?

Are these real creatures or toys? What helps you to make your decision about this?

Where do you think these two animals live? Is there anything wild about them?

There are no words on this page, who do you think Polly Dunbar wants to tell this part of the story? What clues has she given to help you?

WRITE IT DOWN

Harvest children's responses and record their descriptions and comments on a flip chart. Are there any aspects of the picture that they find particularly interesting or puzzling?


Silly Billy
Written & illustrated by Anthony Browne
ISBN: 9780744570175

Use the double page spread depicting Billy worrying about shoes and clouds.

LEARNING TO LOOK

This activity is to encourage children to look more closely and critically at illustrations. It can be modelled whilst working with the whole class or a mixed ability group, it encourages children to offer their personal interpretation of the illustration and to share and shape their ideas orally in a collaborative setting.

The aims of this activity are:

  • to increase the interaction with and enjoyment of picture books for children of all ages

  • to develop children's confidence and vocabulary to respond to what they see - to observe and describe

  • to encourage them to build on their previous experience, imagination and understanding to make sense of visual information - to interpret

  • to consider a variety of graphic forms and their interaction with a text in order to convey layers of meaning - to appreciate

  • to recognise different styles and techniques used and developed by a variety of illustrators - to analyse

  • to begin to recognise and appreciate visual metaphor, irony, puns and jokes etc. - to participate

The following questions have been designed to help children to look more closely at the illustrative work of Anthony Browne, moving from the whole picture to the smallest part and to search for and use all available clues given by the artist to make meaning. Please select and adapt the questions to make them appropriate for your setting.

If possible give children one copy of the picture to share between two or use an enlarged picture that everyone can see.

TELL ME ABOUT ANTHONY BROWNE'S ILLUSTRATION. . .

Please select/adapt questions, which you think are most appropriate for the children you are working with. . .

What do you immediately notice about the layout of these pages?

Why do you think Anthony Browne has chosen different coloured backgrounds for each page?

How would you describe the two colours?

Look at the thin black border around the picture surrounded by a thin white border. What is the effect of these narrow tight lines?

What is the effect of enclosing the illustration in these borders? How does it affect you as an observer? Are you allowed into this room?

How does this picture make you feel? Sympathetic, fearful, anxious etc?

In the first picture depicting Billy worrying about shoes, we view him in a wide shot which contrasts with the close up shot on the next page. What is the effect of this on you and your understanding of Billy's anxiety?

These pictures are full of tension, how has Anthony Browne achieved this effect?

Despite the anxiety and tension there is also a suggestion of humour, where does thiscome from?

Describe the layout of the first picture, for example Billy's bed is placed in the corner of the room. How does this impact on Billy's vulnerability?

Notice the wavy lines of the candlewick bedspread which engulf Billy's frightened body. Look at the shading of the rest of his bedclothes, how do they help to depict his fear?

What can you imagine is outside the open window, what kind of night is it?

Who or what opened this window?

Why would Billy worry about shoes?

Who do you imagine these shoes belong to?

Where do you think these shoes are marching to?

Why do you think the illustrator has made them go through the window?

Consider how the illustrator has made your eyes travel across this page, where are you going to?

What else do you think could emerge from under his bed?

Consider the setting of this illustration, time of day, time of year, time in history. How do you know this is not a contemporary child?

How would you describe the atmosphere contained in the picture showing Billy worrying about clouds?

What kind of cloud is hanging over Billy? What do you think is inside it?

How has the artist created the heaviness and depth of this cloud?

What is the effect of the shadows from the cloud?

Who or what is Billy looking at?

Can he escape from this room?

If you could hear sounds in these pictures what would they be?

How do you think Anthony Browne has drawn these pictures?

Describe the quality of the tones he has used, why do you think he has chosen to keep these illustrations monotone?

What do you notice about the style and size of the font on both these pages?

In what ways does the illustrator make the reader work with the visual and written texts?


WRITE IT DOWN

Harvest children's responses and record their descriptions and comments on a flip chart. Are there any aspects of the picture that they find particularly interesting or puzzling?