Wimmelbooks (Wimmelbücher – wimmeln / to teem) are very popular in German-speaking countries. They are a type of wordless picture books which display a series of panoramas teeming with an immense amount of characters and details. They constitute a narrative threshold genre with the potential to accompany children a good piece of way along their path to literacy and introduce them to different strategies of coping with the world and of telling stories. In contrast to puzzle or search books, wimmelbooks rely on their readers to find their own way through the rich material they present and do not direct readers’ attention by phrasing explicit search tasks. Visual references to other works of fiction may provide an additional stimulus and motivation for adult readers and thus constitute the “dual address” of such books. They allow for manifold reading options and encourage a highly active response from children and adults alike, which rightfully might be described as a form of playing.
Some of our books don`t simply represent and explain real events of the immediate environment to children, they lead the young readers into a fantasy world. So they get to know the variety of books and that everything is possible there!
The Wimmelbook grows and develops with the children. When they are very young, they will assume in the first place individual objects, buildings and people. Over time, they will tell with these “ingredients” stories and discover that they can already “read”. The stories (30 – 40) are constantly ongoing on all pages. For some stories you can find a brief suggestion or instruction on the back-cover of the book (or on the first double-page inside), many other stories have to be discovered in the book. Some stories are simple, others more complex – so children can always discover something new and it never gets boring.
Children can conduct research, are active and enjoy their self-efficacy as something special, and this makes them proud. That intrinsic motivation that is created when they are trying to satisfy their curiosity, is the ultimate source for continual reading and learning.