When you think picture books, you probably think of rhyming words, colorful illustrations with text to match, or reading never-ending books to your children at bedtime.
But what about wordless picture books? A few of my favorite picture books have no words. Why are these my favorite?
Wordless picture books are a great way to involve children in reading books. They have the ability to control the story and take it anywhere their imagination leads them, just by looking at pictures. Creating stories to match the illustrations is an important early literacy element. Reading isn’t just about the words, the journey is just as important as the words themselves. Children will learn sequencing – knowing the story has a start, a middle, and an end. Children can use critical thinking skills to develop the story – why is this happening, what might happen next. Children will increase their vocabulary by describing what they see in pictures, rather than just reading the text.
Have a struggling reader? Wordless picture books allow children to read a book and make up their own story—and then feel a sense of accomplishment that they just completed a book.
The illustrations are the main reason I love wordless books. Some of the most powerful storylines are in the illustrations. I don’t feel a sense of urgency to turn the page. You can study the artwork, see the emotions played out in the details of the images, and feel what the character is feeling.
Check out some of my favorite wordless picture books.