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Anno's Journey (Anno's Journey #1)

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  526 ratings  ·  54 reviews
A pictorial journey through the traditional countryside, farms, and towns of northern Europe takes readers past familiar storybook characters, visual jokes and puzzles, tricks of perspective, and other surprises.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published August 4th 1997 by Puffin Books (first published 1977)
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(showing 1-30 of 971)
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I would have enjoyed this more had the explanatory end note been at the beginning.

The illustrations in this wordless picture book and lovely and highly detailed. I almost thought it worked like Where's Waldo?, but the artist and his horse were too easy to spot.

Maybe we were just supposed to admire the details. I noticed a couple scenes reminiscent of paintings, and I spotted Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, and the Pied Piper leading children through a plaza where men dug up the cobblestones behin
Lisa Vegan
Dec 20, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody in the world, no matter whether or not they can read or what language(s) they can read
This book is amazing, outstanding, and its pictures and storytelling via those illustrations are exquisitely done; they’re just beautiful. I need to reread this over and over and over. I might have to get a copy for myself someday. I’ve never been to Europe but there are a lot of clues are about the various locations in the story. I thought that I was being incredibly observant but in the notes at the end, I see I missed so much, so much. I can’t say enough good things about this book and I’m so ...more
At first when I read this book, I was sort of bored with the illustrations, but now reading it a few more times, I found myself liking this book! “Anno’s Journey” is a wordless picture by Mitsumasa Anno, which shows the author exploring Northern Europe and marveling at its beauty. “Anno’s Journey” is a great book for anyone who wants to see Northern Europe through a picture book!

I never would have thought that I would be interested in reading (or looking at) a picture book that gives us a close
Overall, I enjoyed Anno's Journey and I really appreciated it more after I read the author's note and realized all the things he added, but for me it wasn't really a WOW book or anything that especially touched me. I thought it was interesting that Anno never got off his horse. I suppose part of it is that it was always easy to spot him that way, but I wondered if he mightn't have accomplished the same thing by wearing a more unique outfit or something (ala Waldo). It was just odd to me that he ...more
Crystal Marcos
Jan 23, 2011 Crystal Marcos rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: wordless picture book lovers, visual challenge lovers
This is was my last read for this month's Children's Picture Book Club wordless selections found here:
My daughter and I read this one together. I managed to keep her attention by calling out things like "Anno, Anno where are you?" The illustration and color choices were too busy for her and sometimes myself. I had trouble finding Anno on a couple of pages. I did enjoy the story and the author note at the end of the book was a nice touch. I didn't find ever
Isaac D'Souza
Anno's Journey is a lovely portrait of rural Europe. I love the scenery, it's never too young. It uses your imgination well.
Sarah Ravel
Anno's Journey by Mitosumasa Anno is a wordless picture book depicting one man's travels through Europe. The excerpt at the end tells the reader that the drawing are based on Anno's own journey through Europe. The drawings are full page illustrations with no framing. Each turn of the page lends to a feeling of movement through the countryside. The illustrations are shown from an aerial perspective, emphasizing the the size of the buildings compared to the small figures of the people. In a way, t ...more
Aug 15, 2009 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
A wordless picture book that is busy with activities, buildings and people. The fun is in finding some of the unusual items (like scenes from famous paintings or odd characters from books - or even Sesame street) as well as seeing the subtle changes in the items as you peruse through the pages. It's a fun book to play "I spy" with children.

This book was selected as one of the January 2011 - Wordless Picture Book reads at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.
Norah Mcmeeking
I am amazed that everyone doesn't love this book as much as I do! I've been buying and reading it since 1978. Perhaps any doubts are because this might not be considered a "childre's' book." It is certainly over the head of very young children, but it makes a fantastic gift for adults. I like to give it to people recooperating from an illness or stuck in the hospital.

From the first I was impressed that someone from Japan could use so many Western cultural references--everything from the Muppets
Darin Nordman
Anno's Journey by Mitsumasa Anno

This is one of 3 wordless picturebooks that I have chosen. It seems to me that the author was very intrigued with, what I believe is Europe. It portrays Anno as a man visiting a land, sightseeing and observing different places of this land. With this being a picture book without words, it was very detailed in the illustrations. Each illustration were distinctively unique from one another and the readers can somewhat get an idea or an imagination of what the author
This is a wordless book. It is a bird's eye view of a trip from the sea to a small European city.
This book redefines "reading". Picking out the various story-lines is so much fun. Somebody is always getting married, there is a duel fought in the field, the farm workers are often from famous artwork scenes, Little Red Riding Hood goes to visit her Grandma...and much more. You could make up a hundred stories to tell your child from this book - I love the idea of "reading the stories" in a scene, it's the same with life, and teaching a child (or adult, for that matter)to find the stories in th ...more
Rosaura Sanders
This participation book tells the story of Mitsumasa Anno, a Japanese author, as he travels throughout different countries in Europe. The detailed paintings show different landscapes, cities being built, people participating in leisure activities, and people at work. Students might recognize fairy tale as well as Sesame Street characters. As students look through the book they can participate by identifying familiar characters, scenes, or cultural features. This book is perfect for having studen ...more
As is the case with so many wordless books, this one calls for repeated "readings". I liked to study the details, try to imagine through where the rider was traveling. In particular I liked how some things repeated themselves through the book but in different form/shape: landscapes, groups of people, children. My 4 1/2 year old was pretty drawn into this book as well. We might seek out Anno's other "travel" books: Spain, Britain, U.S.A, Italy ...
a) This record of the author's journey through Europe is lovingly rendered in pen and ink and watercolor. Anno arrives, trades for a horse, and then wanders through wine-making, a race, a circus, a parade, a picnic in the park, a market, and a parade. In each double-page spread, we need to find Anno in a vaguely Where's Waldo-ish way.
b) This book is hilarious. At first, I was annoyed by trying to find Anno in each illustration; but, as I looked - I noticed the very funny visual jokes throughout
This wordless picture book depicts a traveler passing through the countrysides and towns of Europe. Along the way he is surrounded by scenes from famous works of art and literature as well as many other humorous events.

Since it is wordless, any age could enjoy looking at it. Starting with pre-K, children may be able to search for the more familiar scenes (e.g. Pied Piper of Hamlin, Red Riding Hood), while middle school through adults could seek the more detailed references (e.g. Don Qui
Tati Dengo
Didn't know what to expect when I picked this book up. The word "Journey" made me wonder if it was just a typical warrior goes on an odyssey type deal.

But it is so, so much more than that.

Anno's Journey is akin to "Where's Waldo?" and Richard Scarry's illustrations, in that you have to pay close attention to all the tiny details, and discover the story within the story. It's not just Anno's Journey, it's a day in the life of all the people in the environments surrounding the road he travels thr
Karen Dransfield
This lovely picture book has no words. But each picture has heaps going on that you can tell your own story. It starts with a person arriving from a boat and buys/trades for a horse. And then in every other picture the person is riding or leading the horse. So what you see is what he travels through. There are pics of characters from fairy tales to spot, some famous people, some fun things, some naughty people, all there for the viewer to make up what's happening. Lovely work.
Hannah Grippo
Can look at for hours and hours. The book has no words, but Anno brings so much through small images. A man rows to shore from God knows where, rents a horse and goes on a journey. We see thousands of worlds fields, busy streets, farms, castles, races, market places. Hundreds of people doing something like visiting graves, breaking out of jail, washing clothes, courting, playing games, leading cows, fixing roofs. Anno puts many famous paintings and stories hidden in his pictures... ...more
Katherine Codino
This book is so captivating with its detail to the world around us. The reader is forced to create a story of a person or town using the images in the book. It causes the reader to think about life back then and question the life they live and the surroundings around them.
Linda Lipko
Oh, my! What a breathtaking book, wordless and filled with thousand upon thousand of small images in the context of a larger picture. While at times when an artist attempts this, it seems confusing, someone Mitsumassa Anno did a splendid job of it all.
This is a book where time—Middle Ages, modern day, Renaissance—and space—England, France, Spain, Italy, even America—meet. Belgium surrealist painter René Magritte would have loved Anno. Everything is happening at once, but the journey keeps moving forward. I'd love to figure out how to do with so seamlessly with only words instead of only images.
This is likely my favorite book that reads without text. It is much shorter than Shaun Tan's "The Arrival," and it is rendered in watercolor. From what appears to be intricate pen work over layers of watercolor, meticulous mark-making strokes blanket the entire book leaving very minimal white space. The imagery covers various landscape settings from Europe. Simple gestures suggest activities taking place all over the composition of each page. In a sense, this is similar to "Where's Waldo" becaus ...more
A journey without narration from the edge of the European coastline to the city and back.

Each double page holds so many little discoveries that it was just such fun searching through it all. Then when I saw the Impressionist corner with Seurat's 'Bathers at Asnières' and 'Sunday Afternoon' I just laughed out loud. Well done Anno!

Then I had a double-take with the giant turnip and everyone trying to pull it out of the ground - I'd forgotten that story from my childhood, but I recognised it immedia
Apr 08, 2012 Laura added it
Shelves: edsl-520
Anno, Mitsumasa. Anno's Journey. (1977)

Annotation: This is a wordless picture book that show a man who comes to this new land by boat and then takes a journey through this new land on a horse. As the story continues the man stays on this horse as he travels from place to place seeing new and exciting things.

Themes: traveling, search, allusions

Ways to use with children: For younger children, you can have them tell you what Anno finds on each page in his journey and talk about the different events
Deb Carter
I love how Anno's illustrations can take you on a journey to another place and time. I love how looking at pictures can bring so many feelings. These books are treasures.
I loved this picture book! I even put it on my "must own list". This little book has so much potential! I can see starting this book with a child and needing to stop after a couple pages, so that you can get to bed.

The illustrations are great! Each page has Anno entering the page and the rest of the page is full, and I mean full of activity! It is great. You could rewrite the story differently each time you and your young reader started the book.

I can't sing my praise loud enough for this litt
Absolutely one of my top 25 books! I love this picture book and encourage all to take a look for themselves.
Jason Beyer
Interesting as a precursor to Where's Waldo but to me it seems rather dated. Not that that is inherently bad but I don't think a lot of kids today will get it. It would help if the description of the book was in the front instead of in the back so you would know what to look for before hand. Instead I studied the pictures looking for a story and never found one and then read in the back that there isn't really one to be found. The illustrations are nice though and hunting through them as the aut ...more
I was glad when Anno got back to the country. :)
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Mitsumasa Anno (born March 20, 1926) is a Japanese illustrator and writer of children's books, known best for picture books with few or no words. He received the international Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1984 for his "lasting contribution to children's literature".

Source: Wikipedia.
More about Mitsumasa Anno...

Other Books in the Series

Anno's Journey (5 books)
  • Anno's Italy
  • Anno's Britain
  • Anno's U.S.A.
  • Anno's Spain
Anno's Counting Book Anno's Magic Seeds Anno's U.S.A. Anno's Alphabet Anno's Math Games

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