According to the Healthy Children organization, most kids learn to read around six and seven, while some start as early as four and five years old. However, there are still ways parents can involve their children with books at an earlier age, one being wordless picture books.
I’ve always loved books growing up, that I even had a part-time job in college working in a library. There are several benefits to reading to children, such as reading can improve language skills, preparation for academic success, literacy skills, and strengthen imagination and creativity. So, I made a goal as a new mom to get my children reading and involved with books at a young age.
What Are The Benefits of Wordless Picture Books
Wordless picture books allow kids to enjoy books even though they don’t know how to read yet. Through pictures, kids can still “read” a wordless picture book by understanding the story’s main plot.
These books also allow parents to play a vital role in their children’s cognitive growth. For example, while reading wordless picture books, parents can pose thought-provoking questions, such as “Why?” and “What do you think will happen next?”
Even if a kid can’t read, they can still benefit from wordless picture books. These books enable them to use imagination and further their creativity by making predictions.
For instance, my son is turning eight years old and has a love of books. I like to believe it’s because I read to him every night while nursing him to bed. And yet, he still enjoys the books his five-year-old sister brings home from school.
Later in the evening, I can catch him in his room doing some form of role-playing with his paper creations, purely from the inspiration from the books he reads and sees.
25+ Best Wordless Picture Books Of Every Genre Kids Will Love
Below are several picture books you can add to your book lists regardless of your reading level. And, if you don’t want to spend money and purchase a book, you can ask the school librarian to find the appropriate book for the grade level of your young girl or young boy.
There are a lot of great authors that allow kids to have much fun with their books. Suzy Lee, Jeannie Baker, Matthew Cordell, and Henry Cole are not included in our list but deserve honorable mention. Because of them, parents or educators can make sounds and not necessarily read to make a boy enjoyable through their books.
1. Chalk By Bill Thomsom
This book is about young children who draw pictures with chalk that begin to come to life. From a sun on a rainy to a prehistoric dinosaur, this book is perfect for children who like to imagine and enjoy an adventure at the same time.
2. A Ball for Daisy By Chris Raschka
Have your children ever experienced disappointment or heartbreak? Daisy has. “A Ball for Daisy” is about a dog named Daisy whose ball gets destroyed by a bigger dog. Children can see how much a special toy can bring joy and sadness while understanding the value of simple things.
3. Flashlight By Lizi Boyd
Does your kid enjoy mysteries? Or, do they have a curious personality? The “Flashlight” shows kids that the dark doesn’t have to be scary. Instead, it shows kids that they can do magic outside at night.
4. Beaver Is Lost By Elisa Cooper
What happens when a beaver accidentally catches a ride on a logging truck into the city? In this book, kids follow the beaver’s traveling through a busy city and zoo. On another occasion, a dog chases him as he tries to make it back home.
5. Good Night, Gorilla By Peggy Rathmann
When the sun goes down, all the animals at the zoo go to sleep. Or, do they? Your kids will sneak along behind the zookeeper’s back only to notice that there is a short, furry guy hanging around.
6. Fossil By Bill Thomson
How would you react after accidentally breaking a fossil and it came to life? This instance happens when a little boy makes a mistake tripping over a fossil and reveals an ancient plant. There is no genuine concern until his curiosity causes him to break more fossils. Join this adventure as the boy must figure out how to make things go back to normal.
7. Anno’s Journey By Mitsumasa Anno
This book is a wordless picture book that leads readers through a pictorial and spectacular journey toward different parts of northern Europe’s traditional countryside, farms, and towns. In addition, the book takes readers past familiar storybook characters as well as visual jokes and puzzles.
8. I Got It By David Wiesner
“I Got It” is more than a story about an American baseball outfielder. Instead, it’s about a boy who imagines what could interfere with him catching the goal. However, this story is also about courage and determination to catch the ball.
9. Flora and the Penguin By Molly Idle
If you’re looking for a book about teamwork or overcoming perseverance, “Flora and the Penguin” is one of the best picture books that do that. After taking her ballet talents to the ice, Flora befriends a penguin who becomes her skating partner. But what happens when there is a misunderstanding between the two? Learn to see how they can figure it out.
10. Hank Finds An Egg By Rebecca Dudley
This book is a good example that shows perseverance. As the title reveals, Hank finds an egg and is determined to return it to the nest up in the tree.
11. Where’s Walrus By Stephen Savage
Tired of the zoo life, the walrus escapes the zoo to explore the world outside. However, the zookeeper must return him to the zoo. You and your child will enjoy how the walrus attempts to disguise himself so no one can find him.
12. Once Upon a Banana By Jennifer Armstrong
Our parents taught us never to litter. So, what happens when someone leaves a banana peel on the floor? You and your kids will enjoy this comical sequence of everyone’s slips because of a single banana.
13. Flotsam By David Wiesner
Flotsam is about a boy who collects and examines items that wash up on the shore. However, one day he finds an underwater camera that begins the exploration of the deep.
14. A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog By Mercer Mayer
This book is a favorite wordless picture book among many families and teachers. Kids can use their imagination and make up their own stories if desired. At the same time, you and y our kids can laugh at the boy and frog’s expressions by engaging with this book. Kids will not be passively listening to a story. Instead, teachers and parents can easily involve their kids with this book.
15. Pancakes For Breakfast By Tomie dePaola
Pancakes are a classic breakfast meal. But what happens when you are missing ingredients and have mischievous pets? Find out what grandma does to make pancakes for breakfast.
16. The Lion and the Mouse By Jerry Pinkney
With an act of kindness, a lion spares a mouse he planned to eat. And, when the lion gets caught in a poacher’s trap, the mouse comes to the lion’s rescue. This story is a great wordless picture book to show kids that no matter what size, everyone can be kind.
17. Museum Trip By Barbara Lehman
Do you have a child that has a craze for mazes? Then, the “Museum Trip” is perfect. Like many wordless picture books, this book allows parents and teachers to make up their own stories.
18. Time Flies By Eric Rohmann
This book is inspired by the theory that birds are modern relatives of dinosaurs. This story is about a bird trapped in a dinosaur at a natural history museum.
19. 10 Minutes Till Bedtime By Peggy Rathmann
As a fun bedtime book, “10 Minutes Till Bedtime” involves a group of hamsters and their activities as the countdown to bedtime continues. The author Peggy Rathmann is commonly known for the little surprises she sneaks in the book. So, keep your eye open for these little bonuses.
20. Mr. Wuffles! By David Wiesner
What would you say if I had a book about a cat versus aliens? The idea sounds crazy, but it’s undoubtedly what “Mr. Wuffles!” is all about. And, did I mention that the aliens befriend insects as well? David Wiesner does it again with this Caldecott Medal Honor book, which guarantees kids will have wild fun with this book!
21. Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day
“Good Day, Carl” is a series of books that young preschoolers would be excited to hear. Parents and teachers can share in the laughter watching the dog get into silly adventures.
22. The Red Book By Barbara Lehman
Children can tell their stories by looking at the pictures. Also, this wordless picture helps children develop their imagination and critical thinking.
23. Sidewalk Flowers By JonArno Lawson
A little girl collects wildflowers that become a gift in this wordless picture book while her distracted father pays her little attention. Furthermore, the giver and the receiver of the gift transform by their encounter.
24. Rainstorm By Barbara Lehman
“Rain, rain, go away.” Rainstorms can put a damper on anyone’s day by canceling outdoor activities and forcing people to stay inside. With that description, it sounds like a dull day. However, how would you feel if you found a mysterious key that leads to an unexpected place? This unknown adventure is what Rainstorm is all about. As you read to your son through the illustrations, you two will have a great time.
25. Journey By Aaron Becker
In this book, a lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall. She walks through the door and escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. With a red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carries her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. Find out how she responds when an evil emperor captures her. Will she be able to journey back home?
26. The Boy & The Book By David Michael Slater
In this wonderful wordless picture book, a boy find a book that he loves. However, his excitement over the book causes the boy to damage the book accidentally. Thus, the books in the library hide from the boy in hopes of avoiding danger. Will the boy win back the trust of the books?
27. Three Red Balloons By Jojo
Another wordless picture book that gives parents complete control over what they want to tell their kids about what’s going on in the book. Also, this wordless book can give children a chance to be creative when they tell a story.
There are many benefits to early reading, such as developing reading skills and comprehension skills.
Unfortunately, teaching children to read can sometimes be challenging, especially for parents. Struggling readers may quickly get frustrated and want to quit.
Thus, picture books for kids are more significant for those who value reading but are looking for an alternative. Every child is different. So, whether toddlers, in pre-school or first grade, young readers can find new favorite books without words.
Sometimes when a child gets stuck learning to read, you need to find another strategy.
Wordless picture books are great for teaching reading to kids. But, instead of focusing on getting your kids to pronounce the words correctly, you can help children by engaging with them through imaginative story-telling.
Are you an educator teaching reading to a child? Do you have any great books or books for kids that you can recommend helping children learn how to read?