Summer is a crazy time here at the library, but it becomes more manageable when we are graced with wonderful interns for a few months! Our intern, Miss Jessica, comes to us with some great background already in children’s literature. She has some great ideas for sharing some of our favorite wordless books with your little ones this summer. Jessica says…
A wordless book is just what it sounds like – a picture book without any words. Instead, the story is told through the illustrations.
But how do you read a book without words? There’s no right or wrong way to do it. Kids can create their own story from the pictures. Enjoy the illustrations; explore the characters and the setting. Discuss what you see on each page. These conversations add even more to the story! Try just looking at the pictures the first time through the book without worrying about telling a story and just enjoy the artwork. Then go back through it again. Don’t be afraid to be silly when reading! Use different voices for each character, add sound effects, and use interesting words to describe the action on the page. This will not only engage your child in the book, but also increase their vocabulary. Encourage your child to come up with their own story. Help them expand on their ideas by asking questions and pointing out details in the illustrations.
Wordless books can be very beneficial to children. By creating their own story based on the pictures instead of following the text, it encourages creativity and storytelling. Without any text to be distracted by, it increases appreciation of artwork. Reading wordless books helps teach reading strategies, such as searching the pictures for clues about the story. Kids learn about story structure and practice comprehension by imagining their own story. It also encourages discussion.
For children who can’t read yet, wordless books allow them to understand a book all on their own. For beginner readers, they can “read” a book smoothly by using their own words. During the time when reading is mostly slow and stilted, the opportunity to read without stumbling is exciting. Independent readers can also benefit from wordless books! They can tell or write the story that unfolds in the pictures as well, using the opportunity to add detail about the setting, characters, or plot to help develop their story-telling skills.
To get you started, here are some of our favorite wordless books available for checkout: