The wonder of wordless books

I love to read wordless picture books – books with little or no text. Sounds a bit like an oxymoron right? I mean, how do you “read” a wordless book? Well, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying "a picture is worth a 1,000 words" and, when it comes to wordless picture books, that could never be more true.

Wordless picture books are anything but speechless, silent and mute as “wordless” would imply. On the contrary, wordless picture books allow the viewer to put words to the emotion, mood, narrative, ideas and message portrayed by the pictures. Sometimes this is easy because the pictures make an obvious statement, like in Unspoken by Henry Cole and other times the picture allows for imagination and wonder to help bring context and meaning, as in The Birthday Cake Mystery by The Tjong-Khing.

Wondering and imagining are the primary reasons I love reading wordless picture books with children. Notice I said "with" children and not "to" children. Wordless books by nature draw out a deeper level of participation for everyone involved. I love to have children participate in telling the story they see unfolding before them. I enjoy prodding them to come up with details and back story that will be uniquely their own. Sometimes I will even take turns and have the child give a narrative for one page and then I give a narrative for the next page and so on. In a group setting each child could be given a page to narrate. It's always a delight to see how the story changes from week to week with each new retelling. Older children can be encouraged to practice writing out a narrative for each page. This unique look into the mind and imaginings of a child is always fun and insightful.

Another reason I love wordless picture books is the added focus on the illustrations and art techniques. Each picture is an opportunity to discuss various types of art techniques, like watercolor, oil painting, etching (Oops by Arthur Geisert is a great book to intruduce etching to children), graphite, sketching, ink, etc. Taking the time to observe these things and point them out develops an awareness and appreciation. And, if you are feeling adventurous, it's always fun to try and duplicate an illustration from a wordless book using the same medium type used in the book. 

So if you've never read a wordless book and you are feeling inspired to use them in creative story telling or would like to use them as a tool to develop art appreciation check out one of my favorites: Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle, Tuesday by David Wiesner, Welcome to the Zoo by Alison Jay, or checkout one of the many wordless books we have here at Anythink.



The books must have quality and useful content, the great writer has effective <a href="">best uk essays</a> writing skills and can motive others to get acknowledge through his or her imagination. The writers must write the books to keep in mind the reader.

Wow. cool post. I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real hard work to make a great article… but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though.Auto parts site: