Publication Details

Mantei, J. & Kervin, L. (2015). Examining the interpretations children share from their reading of an almost wordless picture book during independent reading time. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 38 (3), 183-192.


This paper shares findings from part of a larger project exploring students' interpretations of children's literature during independent reading time. Examined in this paper are interpretations by students in Grade 4 (aged 9-10 years) about the messages conveyed in the almost wordless picture book 'Mirror' by author and artist Jeannie Baker. 'Mirror' shares a multicultural perspective on life through its portrayal through collage of the lives of two families living in different countries. Data were collected as semi-structured interviews and observations recorded as field notes. Chambers' (1994) 'Tell Me' framework informed the question schedule of the semi-structured interviews, which were designed to promote opportunities for students to share their interpretations following independent reading time. Emerging themes from data analysis are considered through critical literacy lens (Janks, 2010). Further, implications for the use of almost wordless picture books in classroom reading experiences are identified in connection with the development of children's cultural awareness and sensitivity (Short, 2003).