Wordless (Mostly) Picture Books

Last week I posted a list of interactive books that are excellent tools for drawing readers and listeners into a story.

Wordless books can be used to prod children’s imaginations, increase their vocabulary, and provide a sense of how a story is put together. There is no right way to read a wordless book; each reader can add their own details to the story. Wordless books also work especially well with students who do not yet know English well, since they can tell the story in their own languages.

These picture books are all published in 2017 and would make great additions to your preschool, kindergarten, and primary libraries and classroom.

 

      

Bee & Me by Alison Jay. 9780763690106. 2017. Gr PK-2.
A little girl befriends a bee, which takes her on a journey of discovery in this wordless picture book.

Hop Up! Wriggle Over! by Elizabeth Honey. 9780544790841. 2017. Gr PK-1.
Only onomatopoeic words accompany this story of a boisterous and diverse animal family as they wake, eat, and play together.

La La La by Kate DiCamillo (ill. by Jaime Kim). 9780763658335. 2017. Gr K-3.
A little girl wanders outside, her only sound a musical, searching “La.” She is lonely until she finally hears an answering “la.”

Little Fox in the Forest by Stephanie Graegin. 9780553537895. 2017. Gr PK-3.
When a young girl brings her stuffed toy fox to the playground, a real fox comes and takes it. Together with a friend, the girl walks deep into the forest and steps into a magical adventure.

Mine! by Jeff Mack. 9781452152349. 2017. Gr PK-1.
Two mice both lay claim to the same rock, and their escalating battle has surprising consequences.

       

Nope! : A Tale of First Flight by Drew Sheneman. 9781101997314. 2017. Gr PK-1.
In this nearly wordless picture book, a young bird refuses to try flying from his nest in a tall tree, imagining all kinds of danger in the world beyond. His determined “Nope!” is the only word in the book.

Out! by Arree Chung. 9781627795531. 2017. Gr PK-1.
A protective dog named Jo Jo follows his young charge who only wants to get “Out!”—out of his crib and out of control—but only gets into trouble.

The Professional Crocodile by Giovanna Zoboli & Mariachiara di Giorgio. 9781452165066. 2017. Gr PK-3.
Every morning, Mr. Crocodile gets ready for another day on the job. After his alarm rings, he brushes his teeth, picks out the right tie, boards the train, and finally arrives at his place of work–and his job might surprise you!

Ribbit by Jorey Hurley. 9781481432740. 2017. Gr PK-2.
As he did with rabbits in Hop and robins in Nest, the author shows how a tadpole grows into a frog in this wordless picture book.

Spring Hare by Eugene Yelchin. 9781627793926. 2017. Gr PK-2.
When a little girl and a bunny bounce high up into the sky, they set off on an imaginative adventure through the clouds and outer space.

   

That Neighbor Kid by Daniel Miyares. 9781481449793. 2017. Gr PK-2.
A little girl watches as the new kid in the neighborhood is doing something mysterious. Finally bucking up her courage, she asks the boy what he is doing—and together the new friends make a perfect getaway.

Watersong by Tim McCanna (ill. by Richard Smythe). 9781481468817. 2017. Gr PK-2.
A lone fox seeks shelter in a downpour, with the only words being sounds like “plip, plop, drip, drop”. (This one’s not really wordless, but the text is entirely onomatopoeic, so it feels almost wordless. Besides, I like it and wanted to share it!)

Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell. 9781250076366. 2017. Gr PK-1.
A young girl risks her own safety to reunite a wolf cub, lost in a blizzard, with its pack—and the wolves repay her kindness by keeping her warm and leading her family to her.

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