Are pictures worth 1000 words?

six-meal-sid

Six Dinner Sid by Igna Moore was one of my favorite picture books as a kid. Just the idea of tiny little cat tricking six neighbors into each giving him a meal was always very funny to me. However, now that I look at the imagery, I can see the subtle ways Moore used the pictures in her book to complement her story. From house to house, Sid has to take on a new identity to match that family, and Moore uses each frame from each house to showcase those different personality. In frame one, Moore describes Sid’s personality as swanky, and she pictures Sid in light blue room, possibly a den or study, with a elderly woman reading a book in comfy looking chair. Sid himself is cleaning his paws, sitting regally onto a plush red pillow in a chair. All of these details allow us to see how classy the folks in house one are and how Sid’s identity has to match their class while he’s there. In another frame, frame four, Moore describes Sid’s personality as silly in house four. There a lot of subtle details in this frame that suggest house four is not nearly as spiffy and classy as house 1. The first big difference here is with Sid himself. In this frame, we can see Sid laying on his back playing with red ball.  In this house, Sid has almost a kitten like playfulness about him and he is not nearly as posh as in house 1. There is also a big difference between in the clothing worn by the lady in house 4 from the clothing worn by the lady in house 1. In house four, the lady appears to be wearing her pajamas and slippers. This choice of clothing gives the home a much more comfy and informal feeling to it than that of the slightly uptight and proper feeling from house 1. Moore could have put a lot more work into the words of her story and blasted the reader with all of these little details, but instead she gave little description other than one or two adjectives for each personality for each house. Moore allowed her pictures to give all the detail in a much more comprehensible way than any words she could have every used.

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1 Response to Are pictures worth 1000 words?

  1. Haowei Li says:

    After I read your blog post about Six Dinner Sid, I really understand the attractive aspect of this kind of picture book. However, I still have my own opinions. It is not fair to say that picture books do not need many words because picture books also divide into different categories. If the picture book is more narrative and plot-oriented, it definitely needs more words but not simply pictures. Therefore, I think we should look upon to see what kind of picture book are we going to create instead of restrict the number of words on each page. The style of picture books depend on what kind of picture book it is. However, I still appreciate your analysis about the picture book, Six Dinner Sid. You make a very clear analysis which makes readers feel in depth about those pictures. What I also agree is that pictures are the soul of picture books.

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