It’s no secret that I LOVE wordless picture books. Here are some reasons why…
- They can promote more discussion than books with words do.
- For early readers, it allows them to read books on their own while retelling the story and developing new vocabulary.
- They help children with story structure and comprehension.
- They can inspire children and help develop writing skills when they write the story out on paper as to how they interpreted it.
There are so many wonderful reasons to read wordless picture books. Sometimes it’s nice to just relax and visually appreciate these books. It can give early readers a break from reading words as well.
This post highlights some of my favorite picture books I’ve read recently. You can see them below along with my reviews…
Float by Daniel Miyares is a wordless picture book about a boy and his paper boat. It’s a rainy gloomy day and he decides to head out to play in the water with his paper boat. Follow along in the story to see how his day with his paper boat unfolds.
The illustrations are dark and rich throughout most of the book. One thing I love about picture books is how they make you think and then you want to restart the book all over again. This book reminded me of how much I loved rainy days as a kid. We were pleased with the ending.
Our absolute favorite parts in the book were the inside covers that included instructions for making a paper airplane and a paper boat. 4 stars
Fox’s Garden by Princesse Camcam (born as Camille Garoche) is a delightful heartwarming story about a fox and her new family of kits.
It’s easy for children to point out in the beginning that Fox is about to have a new family of kits to care for. She’s searching for a safe place for her new family and finds it in a greenhouse nearby. The boy who lives there is curious about her. Follow along in the story to see how their relationship will unfold.
The illustrations are cut paper and have a warm and realistic appeal. It always amazes me when reading these wordless books that once you get to the end, you never realize that there were no words because the illustrations say so much.
I’m looking forward to reading this entire series. 5 stars
The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett is a wordless picture book for children about a young girl and a new found goal.
As she walks with her little brother, she happens to see a bicycle in a shop window. She scurries home to see how much money she’s saved and soon realizes she’ll have to find a way to raise the money. She meets a nice lady who could use some help, and once she’s earned enough money to purchase the bicycle, she heads back to the shop. Follow along in the story to discover a new friendship and find out if her dreams for a new bicycle come true.
This is a simply illustrated book with a powerful message of selflessness. This story is great for all and I highly recommend it. 5 stars
Boat of Dreams by Rogério Coelho is an illustrated book with no words. The book, in my mind, sent many messages and I wasn’t truly sure what was happening even at the end. The reader is left to draw their own conclusion, but is it all just a dream?
The illustrations were fantastic and my favorite was the communication between the man and his pet seagull.
I’m amazed at how powerful this book is and it left me quite emotional.
Children will love flipping the pages to see what comes next in the characters adventures, but this book can be enjoyed by anyone.
The author’s note on the back cover is touching. 5 stars
Egg by Kevin Henkes is an adorable book for preschool age children about four hatching eggs.
Technically this isn’t a wordless picture book, but it reads like a graphic novel without much in the way of sentences. It’s basically a lot of single words and children love the illustrations!
The story is so cute and the ending is perfect. 4 stars
The Only Child by Guojing is a wordless graphic children’s novel that’s magical in every way.
It has beautiful illustrations and tells a stunning story. One of the best graphic novels we’ve read for children! 4stars
Journey by Aaron Becker is a wordless children’s book about a bored little girl who’s looking for an adventure. She uses her magic red marker to create a fantastic journey through a new world. Children and adults will love the rich and bright illustrations that have just the right amount of detail.
The ending might leave you guessing a little bit as to how the events conclude. The clues are in the colors.
We loved this book! It’s beautiful and a wonderful addition to the home library. I can’t wait to read the next two in the trilogy.
Quest by Aaron Becker is wordless picture book for children and the second in the Journey Trilogy.
The little adventurous girl is back and this time with a friend. After an encounter with a king, they will embark on another journey to unlock the mystery of a map with their magic markers in hand.
What will they discover? Follow along with the illustrations to find out if they can save the king.
We loved Quest just as much as the first in the trilogy. The illustrations were bright, detailed and just as whimsical as the first installment. It had a very pleasing end. 5 stars
Return by Aaron Becker is the third installment in the Journey Trilogy.
As the little girl’s father is once again occupied, she decides it’s time for another adventure into an exotic world. This time, she has an unexpected visitor.
What made this book different from the first two was that this time the reader gets a glimpse into the real emotions the little girl has from not getting enough attention from her parents. I like the way this is incorporated and the ending sends a powerful message.
We loved it. I’m really looking forward to more from this author. 5 stars
Lost & Found
I was thoroughly engaged with the three stories in this book. Out of The Red Tree, The Lost Thing, and The Rabbits which we’d already read separately, our favorite was The Red Tree.
Shaun Tan is an amazing illustrator and his artwork is so unique. Children love the illustrations and the stories require them to brainstorm. What are the stories about exactly? Readers can take on different views and conclusions.
I especially enjoyed the author’s notes in the back which helped to understand the original meanings of the stories. It’s surely helpful to have an adult, parent or teacher available to assist young readers. I highly recommend this book for schools and home libraries.
We’re definitely adding this to our library. Looking forward to more by this author and illustrator.
Technically this isn’t a totally wordless book as it contains a mix of three stories, but I wanted to include it because I love Shaun Tan’s illustrations.
Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan is a children’s picture book that teaches about the rules a little boy learns over the summer with what appears to be his older brother.
Each illustrated page has a short sentence to go along with it, but once again Shaun Tan’s fascinating illustrations say so much more and leave your brain contemplating it all. I’m amazed at how children can decipher just as well if not better than adults when it comes to books like these.
We loved it…
Technically not a wordless picture book, but the illustrations say it all. 5 Stars
The Arrival by Shaun Tan is a graphic novel and wordless story of illustrations highlighting an immigrant man’s journey told through an imaginary world.
I picked this up for my students a few years ago after hearing a special on NPR about it. We enjoyed following along in the story as the illustrations send powerful messages and emotions. It almost feels like a movie as you’re turning the pages.
This is a great eye-opening and thought-provoking story that will help children and adults think about immigration including the fears and difficulties that come along with being alone in a strange place.
Do you have any wordless books you can recommend? I’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to comment.