Children's Reading Suggestions

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Wordless Picture Books

on April 17, 2014

Reading wordless pictures books with your child allows them to flex their imagination muscles, encouraging them to tell a story using their own words and understanding of the illustrations they see.  They practice oral language development, grow their vocabularies, develop a sense of narrative structure and learn to decode illustrations for clues about a story’s plot…all important early literacy skills.

Not sure exactly how to read wordless picture books with your child?  Click here for some tips!

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Fly little bird.  (Tina Burke)Fly little bird

A wordless journey with a girl, her dog, and lost little bird.

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Good Dog Carl series. (Alexandra Day)Carl's afternoon in the park

Carl the rottweiler, in charge of a baby and a puppy, takes advantage of Mom’s absence to lead them on a wild romp through the park.

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Peep! (Kevin Luthardt)Peep!

Although a boy is lonely after the hatchling duckling that followed him home finally joins other ducks, he soon meets another creature.

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South. (Patrick McDonnell)South

Mooch the cat helps a lonely bird find its flock, which has flown south for the winter.

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Bow-Wow bugs a bug. (Mark Newgarden)Bow-Wow bugs a bug

A wordless picture book about a persistent terrier who spends a day following a bug through his neighborhood.

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Wonder bear. (Tao Nyeu)Wonder Bear

Not sure what to expect after planting a handful of mysterious seeds, two children are delighted when a vine grows from the ground carrying a great white bear wearing a top hat who immediately begins to perform incredible feats of magic all day long for their personal amusement.

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The crocodile blues.  (Coleman Polhemus)The crocodile blues

A wordless tale in which a man and his pet cockatoo discover, much to their dismay, the true nature of the egg they bring home from the store.

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A ball for Daisy. (Chris Raschka)A ball for Daisy

A wordless picture book showing the fun a dog has with her ball, and what happens when it is lost. Caldecott Award winner.

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The boy, the bear, the baron & the bard (Gregory Rogers)The boy, the bear, the baron, the bard

boy playing among the warehouses of London kicks a soccer ball into an abandoned theater. There he finds an enchanted cape that transports him back in time right ontothe stage of one of William Shakespeare’s plays! A comic romp through Shakespeare’s London featuring an intrepid little boy, a friendly bear, and-in the role of dastardly villain-the Bard himself. What happens when a boy bursts throughthe curtain of a deserted theatre and onto the world’s most famous stage? He lands on the Bard himself and the chase is on-through the streets of Shakespeare’s London. This is a rare and inventive visual feast-a runaway story about a curious boy, a magic cloak, a grumpy bard, a captive bearand a baron bound for the chopping block. It is also a richly illustrated, dramatic and very funny tale of adventure and friendship.

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Time flies. (Eric Rohmann)Time flies

A wordless tale in which a bird flying around the dinosaur exhibit in a museum has an unsettling experience when it finds itself back in the time of living dinosaurs.

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Where’s Walrus? (Stephen Savage)Where's Walrus?

Follows Walrus on a journey through the city, as he tries on different hats to disguise himself from the chasing zookeeper.

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Dinosaur! (Peter Sis)Dinosaur!

While taking a bath, a young boy is joined by all sorts of dinosaurs.

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Ship Ahoy.  (Peter Sis)Ship ahoy!

A child on a sofa imagines it turning into a succession of ships, culminating in an encounter with a sea monster.

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Chicken and Cat clean up. (Sara Varon)Chicken and Cat clean up

Chickens makes his friend Cat a partner in his housecleaning business, but, after his business suffers when Cat turns out to be too clumsy to help, Catunexpectedly saves the day when he apprehends a mouse trying to rob a ladybug on the street.

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Anno’s Spain (Mitsumasa Anno)Anno's Spain

Anno takes us through Spain as he unfolds its countrysides.

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The Other Side. (Istvan Banyai)The other side

A wordless picture book that shows a series of familiar scenes through many twists in point of view, such as a boy looking down out of a jet’s window and another boy on the ground looking up at the same jet.

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Flora and the Flamingo. (Molly Idle)Flora and the flamingo

In this wordless book with interactive flaps, a friendship develops between a girl named Flora and a graceful flamingo, as they learn to dance together.

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You can’t take a balloon into the Metropolitan Museum. (Jacqueline Weitzman)You can't take a balloon into the Metropolitan Museum

In this wordless story, a young girl and her grandmother view works inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, whilethe balloon she has been forced to leave outside floats around New York City causing a series of mishaps that mirror scenes in the museum‘s artworks.

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Journey. (Aaron Becker)Journey

Using a red marker, a young girl draws a door on her bedroom wall and through it enters another world where she experiences many adventures, including being captured by an evil emperor.

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The lion & the mouse. (Jerry Pinkney)The lion & the mouse

In this wordless retelling of an Aesop fable, an adventuresome mouse proves that even small creatures are capable of great deeds when he rescues the King of the Jungle. Caldecott Award winner.

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Midsummer knight. (Gregory Rogers)Midsummer knight

A bear is rescued by a fairy in an enchanted wood and agrees to return the favor by leading the battle against a usurper who has imprisoned the king and queen, along with their loyal subjects, in the dungeon of their castle.

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Inside Outside. (Lizi Boyd)Inside outside

In this story without words, a boy and his dog play inside and outside of their home.

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In my garden (Ermanno Cristini)

Domestic animals including rabbits and a cat share a garden environment with a variety of small wild creatures.

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In the woods (Ermanno Cristini)

Presents a wordless panorama of the animals, plants, insects, and flowers of the forest.

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In the pond. (Ermanno Cristini)

Wordless book. where a variety of fish, birds, animals, and plants share a habitat.

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Wave. (Suzy Lee)Wave

A wordless picture book that shows a little girl’s first experiences at the beach, as she goes from being afraid of the roaring waves to playing on the shore while gulls soar overhead.

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Flotsam. (David Wiesner)Flotsam

A wordless book in which a boy finds a camera at the beach and the film inside reveals fascinating underwater pictures as well as children around the world, so the boy takes his own picture and returns the camera to the sea where it will journey to another child.

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The last laugh. (Jose Aruego)The last laugh

A wordless tale in which a clever duck outwits a bullying snake.

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The snowman. (Raymond Briggs)The snowman

When his snowman comes to life, a little boy invites him home and in return is taken on a flight high above the countryside.

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The yellow balloon. (Charlotte Dematons)The yellow balloon

yellow balloon sails around the world.

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Pancakes for breakfast. (Tomie DePaola)Pancakes for breakfast

A little old lady’s attempts to have pancakes for breakfast are hindered by a scarcity of supplies and the participation of her pets.

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Polo series. (Regis Faller)The adventures of Polo

Polo the dog sets out from his home and enjoys many adventures, including sailing his boat on top of a whale, roasting hot dogs over a volcano, and taking a ride in a spaceship built from a mushroom.

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The plane. (Monique Felix)

A mouse has an adventure with a plane.

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Sidewalk circus. (Sid Fleischman)Sidewalk circus

A young girl watches as the activities across the street from her bus stop become a circus.

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Oops.  (Arthur Geisert)Oops

Depicts, in wordless illustrations, how a little spilled milk led to the destruction of the pig family’s house.

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Shadow. (Suzy Lee)Shadow

In a book without words, a young girl creates imaginative stories with fantastical worlds using the shadows of such everyday objects as a vacuum, a shoe, and an apple, transforming them with the click of a lamp switch.

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Rainstorm (Barbara Lehman)Rainstorm

In this wordless picture book, a boy finds a mysterious key which leads him on an adventure one rainy day.

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Frog series (Mercer Mayer)One frog too many

A boy’s pet frog thinks that the new little frog the boy gets for his birthday is one frog too many.

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Hiccup. (Mercer Mayer)

Mr. Hippopotamus’ violent efforts to cure his lady friend’s hiccups become increasingly irritating to her–then he gets an attack.

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Sector 7 (David Wiesner)Sector 7

While on a school trip to the Empire State Building, a boy is taken by a friendly cloud to visit Sector 7, where he discovers how clouds are shaped and channeled throughout the country.

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Free fall. (David Wiesner)Free fall

A young boy dreams of daring adventures in the company of imaginary creatures inspired by the things surrounding his bed.

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Window (Jeannie Baker)

Chronicles the events and changes in a young boy’s life and in his environment, from babyhood to grownup, through wordless scenes observed from the windowof his room.

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Home. (Jeannie Baker)

A wordless picture book that observes the changes in a neighborhood from before a girl is born until she is an adult, as it first decays and then is renewed by the efforts of the residents.

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Museum Trip. (Barbara Lehman)Museum trip

In this wordless picture book, a boy imagines himself inside some of the exhibits when he goes on a field trip to a museum.

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Letter Lunch. (Elisa Gutierrez)Letter lunch

Hoping for a tasty alphabet lunch, a hungry brother and sister forage for edible letters in their back yard, at the local market, and through the woods before cooking up a feast of vowel-seasoned consonants to share with friends.

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New baby. (Emily McCully)

The youngest mouse in a large family discovers excitement and frustration when a new baby arrives.

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Jack and the night visitors. (Pat Schories)Jack and the night visitors

In this delightful, wordless introduction to the elements of a story–character, setting, and action–Jack the dog and the freckle-faced boy attempt to capture a very strange, and unbelievable, late-night visitor.

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Zoom (Istvan Banyai)Zoom

A wordless picture book presents a series of scenes, each one from farther away, showing, for example, a girl playing with toys which is actually a picture on a magazine cover, which is part of a sign on a bus, and so on.

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Re-zoom. (Istvan Banyai)Re-zoom

A wordless picture book presents a series of scenes, each one from farther away, showing, for example, a boat which becomes the image on a magazine, which is held in a hand, which belongs to a boy, and so on.

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The marvelous misadventures of Fun Boy. (Ralph Cosentino)The marvelous misadventures of Fun-Boy

In twelve short stories without words, FunBoy looks for adventure, but it is misadventure that he finds.


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