Illustration Analysis

Illustration Analysis

Illustration Quick Write


As children, we often read picture books, which are filled with illustrations. When we begin to read “chapter books” and novels, we find most of them have no illustrations. In a Quick Write, consider why books are illustrated and how that affects your reading.

  • How would your reading be affected if a novel came with illustrations?
  • Do you prefer to read novels without illustrations?
  • How does having a novel with illustrations compare with watching a movie version?

Open Notebook

You As Illustrator

Work Time

Dickens sometimes published illustrations with his novels. With your group, review the plotlines of Chapters 17–20, and do the following.

  • Imagine that Dickens has hired your group to capture a moment from these four chapters.
  • Imagine there is only room for one illustration, so you will have to choose well.
  • Consider what scenes seem to you important or interesting. Why might an illustrator choose one scene over another?
  • Narrow down your choices to one scene that you would illustrate if Dickens hired you.

Your Sketch

Work Time

Follow your teacher’s instructions for completing the sketch you have been commissioned by the author to do.

  • After deciding as a group what scene you think would make the best illustration, make a rough sketch of the scene, using stick figures or simple drawings.

Open Notebook

Share your sketches with the other groups, focusing on the reasons for your choice.

Dickens and Phiz

Work Time

Dickens's most well-known illustrator, Hablot Knight Browne, worked closely with Dickens for over twenty years. Browne went by the pseudonym “Phiz,” and he did, in fact, draw one moment from these chapters that was published in A Tale of Two Cities .

Take a look at the illustration by Phiz.

Discuss the illustration  with the class by answering the following questions.

  • Why might Phiz think this is an important part of the story?
  • Why do you think that Phiz chose these characters and not the others?
  • What themes—or messages—does this scene send?
  • Are the characters in the illustration as you imagined them to be?

Text and Illustration

Work Time

Listen as your teacher reads aloud the ending of Chapter 19 from “There was another silence.” Look at the illustration as you listen.

Then, discuss these questions with the class.

  • To what extent do the details in the illustration reflect the description in the text?
  • Look for details in the reading that do or don’t appear in the illustration.
  • Do you think the tone of the illustration is the same as the tone of the passage? Why or why not?

Can Doctor Manette Recover?


In a Quick Write, discuss the following.

  • Will Doctor Manette be better without his shoe-making equipment?

Open Notebook

As directed by your teacher, share your ideas.