Children’s Books and Visual Design: Student Work

I’m teaching a visual rhetoric course at my new university this year. It has been so much fun to create and just as much fun to teach. I have mostly upper-level English majors and minors in the class, and they are delightful, prepared, and interested.

Our first few weeks of class focused on Molly Bang’s book Picture This: How Pictures Work. We used the recently updated and revised version that came out in August 2016.


The book details how Bang learned principles of design by creating a version of Little Red Riding Hood using only five colors and  simple shapes.


After we read and discussed the principles of design from the book, focused on color, shape, size, contrast, and placement, the students created their own version of a children’s book or fable using those principles and no words.

I was amazed at what my students created. Two of them agreed to let me share their books with you.

Here is Three Blind Mice.






Here is Where the Wild Things Are combined with ideas from Harold and the Purple Crayon.








Aren’t they wonderful? I look forward to seeing more of what my students can do with knowledge of visual design, rhetorical criticism, and creativity.


24 thoughts on “Children’s Books and Visual Design: Student Work

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  1. Beautiful projects! To tell the truth, I’m not sure I could distinguish them from some professional work. Do you teach at the university level?

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