If you have visited the picture book section of the Children’s Library lately, you might have noticed that the books there are being reorganized into subject groups or “neighborhoods” such as Arts, Favorites, Growing, and Learning. This will help the library patron to easily find what they want by category first, then by author or name. Some titles will have special stickers identifying them as Adventure, Sports, or Fantasy, to name a few, to help refine your search even further.
This is especially true in the Stories category where many of the books will boast the sub-category sticker “Wordless.” The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is often used to suggest that pictures can replace words. But in the case of picture books without words, I prefer to think it means that a picture can inspire a thousand words. Kids love to tell stories. Drawing on their own experiences and the visual clues provided by the illustrations, children can create their own adventures, plots, dialogues, and happy endings. With a little guidance, wordless picture books can be valuable teaching tools – helping to support the learning of important skills and concepts. Language practice, vocabulary development, counting, shapes, colors, and much, much more can be reinforced through active use of these deceptively simple children’s books.
Wordless picture books come in a broad range of subject matters and artistic complexity. Some are relatively simple and straight forward like The Red Book by Barbara Lehman and Where’s Walrus? by Stephen Savage. Others, like the fantasies Sea of Dreams by Dennis Nolan and Time Flies by Eric Rohmann are more elaborately illustrated and detailed.
You can find a list of wordless books in our catalog by searching Keyword stories without words and limiting to Children’s Room.