Wordless picture books, also known as silent books, are stories created using mostly images and illustrations. These stories have a narrative, but allow readers to use their own imagination to add details to the story. 
Why share a wordless picture book?
• Because there are no words or few words, these stories can be shared in any language.
• They encourage oral storytelling which builds language skills, vocabulary, narrative skills, and social skills.
• These books are a good way to expose younger readers to the idea that pictures and a story can be connected.
• Readers can explore how a story develops, from a beginning, to points of conflict, and an ending.
• Reluctant readers and visual thinkers may have more fun exploring these stories without the anxiety of reading text.
How to share these stories?
• Take your time discovering the story together.
• Ask questions about the characters, the illustrations, feelings, and what will happen next
• You can ask who, what, where, when, and why questions too!
• It’s okay to just explore the pictures- you can tell the story together another time
• If you notice a point of conflict, ask your child, “what would you do?”
• You tell the story and then have your child tell you the story.
• Remember there is no wrong way to “read” these books.

I Walk with Vanessa: A Picture Book Story About a Simple Act of Kindness by Kerascoët

Inspired by real events, I Walk with Vanessa explores the feelings of helplessness and anger that arise in the wake of seeing a classmate treated badly, and shows how a single act of kindness can lead to an entire community joining in to help. By choosing only pictures to tell their story, the creators underscore the idea that someone can be an ally without having to say a word. With themes of acceptance, kindness, and strength in numbers, this timeless and profound feel-good story will resonate with readers young and old.

Available formats: Book

Over the Shop by JonArno Lawson

A lonely little girl and her grandparent need to fill the run-down apartment in their building. But taking over the quarters above their store will mean major renovations for the new occupants, and none of the potential renters can envision the possibilities of the space—until one special couple shows up. With their ingenuity, the little girl’s big heart, and heaps of hard work, the desperate fixer-upper begins to change in lovely and surprising ways. In this bustling wordless picture book, JonArno Lawson’s touching story and Qin Leng’s gentle illustrations capture all angles of the building’s transformation, as well as the evolving perspectives of the girl and her grandparent. A warm and subtly nuanced tale, Over the Shop throws open the doors to what it means to accept people for who they are and to fill your home with love and joy.

Available formats: Book

The Midnight Fair by Gideon Sterer

Far from the city, but not quite the countryside, lies a fairground. When night comes and the fair is empty, something unexpected happens. Wild animals emerge from the forest, a brave raccoon pulls a lever, and the roller coasters and rides explode back into bright, neon life. It’s time for the woodland creatures to head to the fair! In a gorgeous wordless picture book, author Gideon Sterer and illustrator Mariachiara Di Giorgio offer an exuberant take on what animals are up to when humans are asleep. 

Available formats: Book

Oscar’s Tower of Flowers by Lauren Tobia

Oscar’s mom has to go away for a little while, so Oscar is staying with his nana. He likes being with Nana in her apartment building, but he still misses his mom. One day, Nana has an idea, and together they carefully sow seeds—lots and lots of seeds! They water them and wait . . . and then the seeds start to grow and the flowers begin to bloom and there are plants everywhere. Luckily Oscar has a great idea for what they can do with the blossoms—share them! This brightly illustrated wordless picture book is full of graphic panels and sweeping spreads that evoke the urban bustle of a busy high-rise apartment and shows how each person can contribute to the spirit and vitality of a community.

Available formats: Book

Field Trip to Volcano Island by John Hare

The same students we met in Field Trip to the Moon and Field Trip to the Ocean Deep travel to a volcano island on a yellow school bus helicopter. When they get there, one student picks flowers as they hike to the top and then accidentally slips down a crater and can’t get out. The student isn’t too worried–especially when he meets a lava monster and its children who are fascinated by the flowers. But when they touch them, they burn beyond recognition so the student teaches them how to make a vase using lava from a lava pit, fills it with water from a canteen, and they all sit back to enjoy the flower arrangement until help arrives and rescues the student.

Available formats: Book, eBook (Overdrive Media on Demand)

 Once Upon a Forest by Pam Fong

After a fire leaves the forest smoldering, a determined marmot and her resourceful bird friend set off on a rescue mission in this beautifully illustrated, wordless story. They clear away fallen branches and scorched bushes. They rake and dig and plant new seedlings in the earth. With determination and ingenuity, as the seasons pass, they care for the little trees by making sure they have enough water, protect their branches from the wind and snow, and keep away hungry creatures, until the trees can thrive on their own. Color is used sparingly to illustrate that with a little time, care, and hope, we all can help the earth.

Available formats: Book

Flotsam by David Wiesner

A bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam–anything floating that has been washed ashore. Bottles, lost toys, small objects of every description are among his usual finds. But there’s no way he could have prepared for one particular discovery: a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera, with its own secrets to share. A day at the beach is the springboard into a wildly imaginative exploration of the mysteries of the deep, and of the qualities that enable us to witness these wonders and delight in them. Caldecott Medal winner, 2007.

Available formats: Book


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