Children read pictures before they read words, according to Eric Rohmann, author of Bone Dog and My Friend, Rabbit. Wordless books invite them to create their own story, a joy grown-ups can pass along by accepting and using these books. Narrative – the ability to tell stories – is one of the six early learning skills kids need before they can start to read. Sharing wordless books is an excellent way to nurture that skill.
But wordless books shouldn’t be restricted to preschoolers. Wordless books can challenge, educate and inspire older children as well. It’s no coincidence that several Caldecott Medal winners are wordless. And as visual literacy becomes more important in daily life, the more sense it makes to imagine a good story from what we see.
A boy, escaping bullies, runs into a museum where he enters works of art in The Hero of Little Street.
Mirror contrasts two families: one from a city in Australia and one from Morroco.
The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney, opens with a scene from the Serenghetti to retell Aesop’s fable.
A puppy learns to live with loss in A Ball for Daisy.