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Wordless picture books are books are told entirely through their illustrations — they are books without words, or sometimes just a few words. Sharing wordless books at home or at school gives us a chance to develop so many important literacy skills: listening, speaking, storytelling, vocabulary, comprehension, story structure, inference, cause and effect … the list goes on and on!

When my girls were young, we shared many happy bedtimes with Peggy Rathmann’s Goodnight Gorilla (opens in a new window) and 10 Minutes to Bedtime (opens in a new window). My girls just could not get enough of those pictures and that silliness! They loved using different voices for the characters, and each one told the stories with their own special plot twists.

That’s really the beauty of wordless books, I think. No story is right or wrong, and stories can be as simple or as complex as the situation dictates. I know wordless books are often used in ELL classrooms, with adult learners, and with learners with hearing impairments.

Not surprisingly, several wordless books have won the Caldecott Award or been Honor books over the years, including A Ball for Daisy (opens in a new window) (2012 Winner), The Lion and the Mouse (opens in a new window) (2010 Winner), Flotsam (opens in a new window) (2007 Winner) and Tuesday (opens in a new window) (1992 Winner). I apologize to the children’s literature experts reading this! I am sure I’ve missed some from my list but these are among our favorites.

These and several other favorite wordless books are on our Pinterest page (opens in a new window). Enjoy! And if you’ve got a wordless book recommendation for me, please leave the title below!

Wordless PIcture Books (opens in a new window)

About the Author

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Publication Date
March 11, 2013