I own a book – a kid’s book – which has no words. It’s a simple story, but it is so richly illustrated that you don’t notice and it’s delightful to ‘read’.
People of all ages can understand what’s happening from the pictures and kids can fill in the words to tell the story their way. I love that. It’s what makes this particular book one of my favourites.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of stories told though images, since I picked up a copy of Australian author and illustrator Shaun Tan’s wonderful images-only book “The Arrival”.
When I watch people ‘read’ the book and see the passage of emotions in their expressions, I wonder if as authors we are a bit tied to words.
To say that words and story are separate things, sounds stupidly obvious, but I think we get so caught in the words that we can neglect story.