Wordless Picture Books as a Multi-Disciplinary Educational Resource: A Review and Analysis of the Literature

Keywords: Wordless picture book, multi-disciplinary education, intercultural education, review of the literature, educational research, visual narratives, bibliographic review


Introduction. Wordless picture books are characterized by an artistic and visual design that has traditionally been associated with early infancy. However, the development and complexity of wordless picture books attract readers of all ages, who assume an extraordinarily active role. The required involvement of readers, their editorial development, and their ability to transcend linguistic barriers have been the subject of research. Purpose. The purpose of this article is to present a bibliographic review of the study and the use of wordless picture books as an educational resource. Analysis. Our review of the literature shows this path since the 1970s from a holistic approach. The academic bibliography is therefore organized and analyzed, with a special emphasis on the most representative recent educational interventions. Results. The diversification of current lines of research reflects the multi-disciplinary nature of wordless picture books. The results show the suitability of this tool to integrate content and skills, interconnect disciplines, address special educational needs, and develop key multi-disciplinary elements, such as intercultural education. Conclusions. The implications of our analysis also reveal the problem of the excessive instrumentalization of wordless picture books when they lose their artistic nature and the difficulty of transferring research results into classrooms. Finally, we recommend other lines of research, such as studies to examine the beliefs and attitudes of teachers and works to assess new editorial trends, such as non-fiction wordless picture books.

Author Biography

María Jesús Colón-Castillo, Universidad de Zaragoza

Lcda. en Filología Hispánica, DEA en Teoría de la Educación y Pedagogía Social y Máster en Lectura, Libros y Lectores Infantiles y Juveniles por la Universidad de Zaragoza. Es profesora interina en la Facultad de Educación de la Universidad de Zaragoza (España) y miembro del Grupo de Investigación de referencia ECOLIJ (http://ecolij.blogspot.com). Sus áreas de interés son la investigación educativa en contextos rurales, la lectura de álbumes ilustrados, la didáctica de la lengua y de la literatura y la educación intercultural.


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How to Cite
Colón-Castillo, M. (2022). Wordless Picture Books as a Multi-Disciplinary Educational Resource: A Review and Analysis of the Literature. Revista Electrónica Educare, 27(1), 1-24. https://doi.org/10.15359/ree.27-1.14480
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