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Silent Movie
illus. by C.B. Mordan
Schwartz Books, 2003
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Silent Movie

Black-and-white images follow one after another.
The story of an immigrant family alone in a big city.
Close-ups of a mother, a son—faces filled with heartache and joy.
Plenty of action.
A silent movie.

Behind the Book

Avi writes: I have written very few picture books. They require a special way of thinking which I don’t have very often. Silent Movie came about because of my own fondness for silent movies (Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, among others) and the gifted art of C.D. Mordan who has illustrated some of my books. He often works in black and white.

Once when I was looking at some of his black-and-white art work, I was reminded of silent movies, and began to formulate the idea of trying to recreate—in picture book format—a silent movie. I talked to him about the project, got his interest—and so we began.

Awards and Honors

ALA Notable
Booklist, starred review


“True to the tender melodrama of the great silent movies, this picture book in black-and-white tells a happily-ever-after immigrant story from the early twentieth century… Clear, beautiful ink-on-clayboard illustrations … evoke the historical period as they tell a story about making a movie of the American dream. … Avi and Mordan both cite Chaplin as inspiration, and their book beautifully evokes the melancholy loner in City Lights.” (Booklist)

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