A Puzzling Tale: Name That Tune

story by Cheryl Bullow , illustrated by Rosemary Fung

Learning intentions:

I am learning to analyse an illustrator’s style based on a range of their artworks so that I can understand the way images can convey different emotions through the way they are drawn.


Success criteria:

  • I can interpret the emotions of characters in an illustration and explain my reasoning
  • I can identify the similarities and differences between images from the same illustrator
  • I can use my analysis to create my own illustrations in the style of a chosen illustrator that convey emotions of my characters.


Essential knowledge:

For more information on identifying the unique styles of creators, watch the English Textual Concepts video for Style.


Prior to reading this text, ask students to identify the feeling between the two characters depicted in the illustration. Answers will most likely include anger, rage, frustration or similar. Ask students to give specific parts of the illustration that brought them to this conclusion. Answers may include:`

  • The girl appears to be gritting her teeth
  • The girl’s arms are up and her hands appear tense with her fingers outstretched
  • The boy’s arms and hands are outstretched towards the girl and his body appears stiff
  • The boy’s eyebrows are pointed down in the middle and his mouth is wide as though he is yelling.

Discuss the style used by the illustrator and the way she has enhanced the sense of emotion depicted in this image through the use of sharp lines and edges along with the frantic lines in the background.

Read the text or allow students the time to read independently and solve the riddle. Ask:

  • Where you interpretation of mood and emotions in the story correct?
  • How well did the illustrator portray the dynamic between the two characters using the artistic methods discussed earlier.

Show students the images at Feelsbasher Project from the same illustrator. Discuss the emotions depicted in these pictures (e.g., carefree, happy) and how the artist has depicted this (e.g., first character is leaning back, has a small smile and relaxed eyes. Second character has a large smile showing teeth and a casual stance).


Show students the first image at Rosemary Fung’s Dailies Project 2016 and discuss the differences in the feelings of the two characters (e.g. annoyed, embarrassed, worried, confused) and how we can interpret this (e.g. hands in pockets, looking down vs eyes focused on an object in the air, wide eyes, open mouth)

Discuss the similarities and differences between the images illustrated by this artist (e.g., use of colour, sharpness of lines, detail of facial expressions etc.).

Ask students to stand up. Tell them that you are going to say a feeling and they need to demonstrate that feeling through their body language and facial expressions and hold it for a few seconds. While holding, they should take the opportunity to look at each other’s interpretations to help give them ideas about how they would depict each emotion in an image. Suggested emotions include:

  • Disgust
  • Excitement
  • Shock
  • Embarrassment
  • Fear
  • Confidence
  • Frustration
  • Joy


Students should then choose three of these emotions (or they may wish to choose others) and draw characters of their own expressing their chosen emotions based on the style of Rosemary Fung. They may wish to do each as a standalone portrait style illustration or create a scene with three characters expressing different emotions. They should consider the body language and facial expressions of the characters they create as well as the sharpness of the lines used, the colours and any other aspects they feel contribute to the intended mood of their illustrations.