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Ubiquity: The Journal of Literature, Literacy, and the Arts


Shaun Tan’s picture book/app, Rules of Summer, challenges conceptions of literature and literacy for young people, placing visuals at the center of the narrative in dissonance with printed text. This article explores this nonlinear, yet complex text and reactions to it from preservice and practicing teachers. We explore possibilities for schools, particularly with considering intersections between art education and literacy. We believe teachers can use artful texts like Rules of Summer in interdisciplinary ways to challenge their students, and themselves, to break rules around instruction, literacy practices, art education, and the current testing culture. We find that this narrative invites discomfort and (not) knowing in ways that also challenge traditional ways of literacy teaching, while inviting all readers to question and even break the rules.

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