Thursday, May 5, 2016

An Argument for Wordless Books

In my experience wordless books are misunderstood. Every year we have at least one on our list for the student book club I facilitate for, and inevitably a parent will send it back saying-"this was too easy for them, there were no words" or a student will say "my mom told me to get a harder book-there were no words". I LOVE wordless books! I actually feel a bit of a thrill when I'm at the library, choose a book that looks interesting, start paging through it and discover it's a wordless book. We talk a lot about making inferences and I think this is an amazing way to teach them systematically how to think through that skill.  I think it actually takes more thinking power to follow a story that is not being told to you in words and I am in awe of authors who can illustrate their stories well enough to know what is going on in each page. 

I have discovered some favorites over the years that may be new to you:

This is a really beautiful story! The illustrator deftly captured the expressions of a little girl who is both curious and a little frightened of the waves. Love this book! 

One of my goals for my students is to help them be more empathetic-I think this book is a great example of that. A girl works chores to earn enough money to buy a bicycle-but things don't work out quite like she had hoped.

When I first read this book I thought...oookkaayyy! The premise is a little strange, but sweet. A farmer sees a carnival passes by and loses the little clown. He takes care of him until they can return him to the circus.

Being a dog lover I completely feel for Daisy in this story. My grandmother used to have a boxer just like her. He literally slept with his tennis ball. He would bring it to you to throw it 100 times and go get it and drop it at your feet again. He was buried with tennis balls. Daisy has a similar fixation on her ball but ends up having a little problem that makes her sad. Another sweet, sweet story.

This book deals with perspective. You have a shot of the bee and a peek at its location and the next page surprises you with where he actually is. The kids loved the mystery factor in this book.

Another one I had to read a few times before I really understood the point of the story. A child discovers a mysterious camera on the beach and the pictures reveal a mystery. A challenging story.

My next two posts will be about the activities we did with the wordless books. I hope you will consider using them with your kiddos. You will not regret it!


  1. Thank you for the great selection of books.
    I like wordless books too, but don't use them nearly enough.

  2. I found some cool wordless books this year. It helped me realize the need to use them more.

  3. I love your post! Thank you for letting me know about it! I have not heard of a few of these. I am going to need to do a little shopping :)