Friday, November 6, 2009

Wordless Picture Books

Although most picture books have written text to accompany the illustrations, some books rely entirely on the pictures to tell the story.  As with most genres, wordless picture books range from very simple stories to complex plots.  They can help new readers acclimate to left-to-right reading and context clues, and they're equally useful in teaching older students about plot, setting, character development, and general storytelling.   Readers have the opportunity to tell the story using their own words and ideas.

Here's a short list of titles to get you started.  Stop by the children's room for more suggestions!

dePaola, Tomie (1978). Pancakes for Breakfast. (Ages 2-6)

A little, old lady attempts to make pancakes for her breakfast, despite a lack of ingredients and the interference of her two pets.

Lehman, Barbara (2004). The Red Book. (Ages 4-8)

A girl in a dreary, wintry city finds a red book in a snowbank.  When she opens the book, she sees a boy on a tropical beach, holding another red book and looking back at her.  The adventure continues as she buys balloons and floats to the island, dropping the book along the way for another person to pick up and explore.

  Lehman, Barbara (2006). The Museum Trip. (Ages 4-8)

When a boy's class takes a trip to the art museum, he finds himself magically transported into the books and exhibits around him.  Was his experience real?  Or was it part of his imagination?

Wiesner, David (2006). Flotsam. (Ages 5-10)

During a trip to the beach, a boy finds an old camera that has washed up on the shore.  The photographs inside reveal other children who have found the mysterious camera as well as snapshots of incredible, mysterious underwater worlds.

Tan, Shaun (2007). The Arrival.  (Ages 12+)

A man leaves his home and family and travels to a new land where everything is unfamiliar and impossible to understand.  Readers will share in his bewilderment at the foreign alphabet, strange-looking plants and animals, and new customs.

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