Did you know that many picture books don't have any words at all?
Sharing wordless picture books with your little ones is a great way to develop important listening skills, including comprehension and an increased awareness of how story is constructed, and how to deduce motivations without being told. Wordless picture books are also a wonderful opportunity to share literacy with struggling readers, new English learners, and young children who can't always have a caregiver there to read to them.
And children love them! They can analyze the pictures and create their own stories...and even make a new story every time.
Take an opportunity to check out these wordless picture books from our collection. A few are linked below, but the district has many more availble for checkout. They are a great addition to a healthy reading appetite--and might be just what you didn't know you needed.
The Egg by Geraldo Valerio. As this wordless story opens, a crane lays an egg and contentedly sits on it. But when a gust of wind from a sudden storm blows the egg from the nest, the heartbroken crane flies away. And then, from high overhead, the bird spots something. Upon closer inspection, it appears to be an egg. And since it seems to be all alone, the crane takes it back to the nest and incubates it. When sounds start coming from the egg and it's time to hatch, what emerges, surprisingly, is a human baby! No matter: the crane is delighted, and showers the child with love. They even go on a high-flying adventure with other bird parents and their young ones--including not only a baby bird, but also a cat, a pig, a rabbit, a fish, and other humans--before returning home to the nest at dusk for a cozy, cuddly sleep.
Mayhen at the Museum: A Book in Pictures by Luciano Lozano. Paintings and sculptures come to life when a young girl visits the Metropolitan Museum of Art with her classmates. What starts as just another tour of the museum becomes a joyful parade as the art, which must not be touched, touches the young museum-goers in surprising ways.
Chalk by Bill Thomson. A wordless picture book about three children who go to a park on a rainy day, find some chalk, and draw pictures that come to life. An American Library Association Notable Children's Books, 2011.
Dandelion's Dream by Yoko Tanaka. In a meadow filled with dandelion buds just about to flower, one dandelion blooms into a real lion. Roots and leaves unfurl into four tiny paws and a long tail with a fluffy yellow tuft. What a great, wide world there is to explore when you have paws instead of roots: there are fast trains to ride, regal ships to sail, and cities with lights as bright as Dandelion's field in full bloom. But will a real lion ever be content to go back to being a rooted dandelion?
The Paper Boat by Thao Lam. The Paper Boat starts with a story inspired by Thao's mother's life: a young girl watches as a bowl of sugar water is put out to attract (and get rid of) some pesky ants. As the adults around her frantically make plans for escape, she dips her chopstick into the bowl to save the drowning insects. When the army arrives, the family must flee, and in the chaos, the girl and her mother become separated from the others, and get lost in the jungle. The mother gives the hungry girl a bun wrapped in paper, which she then folds into a paper boat. After they eat, the girl spots a trail of ants in the moonlight. They follow the insects to water and manage to meet up with the boat that will take them to safety. The story switches to the perspective of a family of ants who have boarded the paper boat. Their journey is full of peril. The sun is relentless, the ants are attacked by seagulls, they starve, a storm capsizes their boat, and many ants are lost. The survivors, however, cling to each other, creating a raft of their own bodies, eventually making it to shore. Named a best picture book of 2020 by Kirkus, School Library Journal and Booklist