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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Picture Inspires a Thousand Words

Have you ever tried reading a wordless picture book? Are you wondering why you would want to? Well, in addition to being great fun, wordless picture books can help develop important literacy skills for children at all reading levels. By listening to and telling stories, children learn new vocabulary and improve their narrative skills such as story sequencing (stories have a beginning, middle and end) and describing things and events. Older children might even be inspired to write down their stories.

Here are a few wordless picture books that will spark the imaginations of your little storytellers:

You Can't Take a Balloon into The National Gallery by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman and Robin Preiss Glasser – Readers of all ages will have fun spotting monuments, historical figures and famous works of art in this unique picture book. When a kindly photographer agrees to watch after a little girl's balloon, it slips away and leads her on a grand chase around the National Mall. Meanwhile, the little girl enjoys a leisurely visit to the National Gallery. Follow the balloon on further adventures in You Can't Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum and You Can't Take a Balloon into the Museum of Fine Arts.

Jerry Pinkney brings one of Aesop's best known fables to life in his Caldecott Medal winning, wordless adaptation of The Lion & the Mouse. Beautiful illustrations tell the classic tale of a mouse who returns the favor when a lion chooses to set him free.

Wave by Suzy Lee - Using pencil drawings and splashes of blue, Lee breathes a remarkable amount of life and playfulness into the simple story of a little girl frolicking at the beach.
Where's Walrus? by Stephen Savage -- In this delightful story, Walrus escapes from the zoo and confounds the zookeeper trying to find him by disguising himself with an assortment of hats--from firefighter helmets to berets. Savage tells this tale through simple illustrations that pop with color and humor.

Author and illustrator David Wiesner is well known for his ability to tell captivating stories using only pictures. The Caldecott Medal winning book Flotsam follows a boy who discovers a camera washed ashore and is presented with astounding undersea photographs when he has the film developed. In Sector 7, Weisner illustrates the story of a boy who befriends a cloud and learns how clouds get their shapes.

Molly Idle brings her animation talent to print in the delightful book Flora and the Flamingo. Idle’s charming illustrations will sweep you up into the humorous and touching friendship developing between Flora and Flamingo as they learn to dance in sync.

There are many more wordless picture books available, even some for teens. Check out our catalog for more options.

-Rebecca Molineaux, George Mason Regional Library


Anonymous said...

Search for "Stories without words" as a subject and you'll find many more worldless wonders.
One of my personal favories is The Yellow Balloon by Charlotte Dematons.

Anonymous Vlad (not a robot)

Rebecca Molineaux said...

You're right. There are many more great books than I could fit here. Thanks for sharing your favorite. I haven't read The Yellow Balloon. It looks really fun. I will definitely have to check it out.