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A wimmelbook or wimmelbilderbuch (German, loosely translated as teeming picture book) is a special kind of picture book, distinct from other large format picture books. It usually has "fold-out" pages and abundant images of richly detailed humans, animals and things, from which the name of "Bilderbuchart" results. Typically several everyday scenes such as a zoo, a town or a farm, are connected within a single image. Formats are often larger than A4.

'Wimmelbuch' is a German word, constructed from wimmeln (German for 'to teem'), and Buch (German for 'book').

"Wimmelbooks" with things to be discovered are aimed at children from about 18 months, and they enjoy great popularity among children and parents. The depicted scenes of everyday life make a lively exchange between adults and children about the situations presented. Hidden objects are also a popular motif for puzzles.

Wimmelbook authors include Richard Scarry, Ali Mitgutsch, Rotraut Susanne Berner, and Eva Scherbarth. Wimmelbücher for older children include the renowned Where's Wally? series by the British illustrator Martin Handford.

Netherlandish Proverbs painting from Pieter Brueghel the Elder

Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Brueghel the Elder and Hans Jurgen Press are regarded as the fathers of the format.

The Wimmelbook is also available in digital format, where the player clicks their way through several screens of a story.


  • Cornelia Rémi: Reading as Playing: The Cognitive Challenge of the Wimmelbook. In: Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer (Hrsg.): Emergent Literacy: Children's Books from 0 to 3, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2011 (Studies in Written Language and Literacy 13), 115-139.


  • Cornelia Rémi: Reading as Playing. Pre-print of Cornelia Rémi's seminal paper on wimmelbooks.