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Netherlandish Proverbs painting by Pieter Brueghel the Elder

A wimmelbilderbuch (German, literally "teeming picture book"), wimmelbook, or hidden picture book is a type of large-format, wordless picture book. It is characterized by full-spread drawings (sometimes across gatefold pages) depicting scenes richly detailed with humans, animals, and objects. Typically made for children, the drawings are filled with characters and items that may be discovered.

Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Brueghel the Elder and Hans Jurgen Press are regarded as the fathers of the format. Contemporary wimmelbook authors include Richard Scarry, Jean-Jacques Loup [fr], Ali Mitgutsch, Rotraut Susanne Berner, and Eva Scherbarth. In the United Kingdom and the United States, wimmelbooks gained popularity with the success of the Where's Wally? series by the British illustrator Martin Handford.


  • Cornelia Rémi: Wimmelbooks. In: Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer (ed.): Routledge Companion to Picturebooks, London, New York: Routledge, 2017, 158–168. ISBN 978-1-138-85318-8
  • Cornelia Rémi: Reading as Playing: The Cognitive Challenge of the Wimmelbook. In: Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer (ed.): Emergent Literacy: Children's Books from 0 to 3, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2011 (Studies in Written Language and Literacy 13), 115–139. ISBN 90-272-1808-0

See also[edit]


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