Tips for Reading Wordless Books (and 10 of My Favorite Wordless Books!)

I bet you know this scenario – you check out a wordless picture book, and then you realize you’re narrating it with the skill of an iguana and you think, “HOW DO YOU EVEN READ THIS THING?!”

I remember one of my friends saying, “I hate reading wordless books because it takes so much effort on my part. With a regular picture book I can just read the words and not think about it.”

It’s true that wordless books take a little more effort. But I’m inclined to think they are worth it.

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tips for reading wordless books

10 fantastic wordless books

  1. by Aaron Becker – Oh . You really are the best picture book I’ve read in ages. Imagine if you could draw a door on your wall and then step into a magical world. There are lots of comparisons to and , but this one definitely earns its own place on the bookshelf.
  2. by Stephen Savage – This sweet book about a walrus who flees the zoo on a sleepy afternoon and keeps hiding from the zookeeper is a family favorite. (You can watch a little video trailer for it too – Ella and I have watched it probably 50 times).
  3. by Peter Spier – This man is a master. We’ve had since I was a very small child, and recently, we’ve discovered his Caldecott-winning .
  4. by David Wiesner – No one does wordless books like David Wiesner. This one is a Tuesday night where frogs take flight. The very realistic illustrations make a terrific juxtaposition to the goofy idea of frogs flying about on lily pads. I also love .
  5. by Jerry Pinkney. I bought this book very shortly after it won the Caldecott and it is just such a gem. It’s such a glorious retelling of Aesop’s most famous tale.
  6. by Béatrice Rodriguez. Fair warning that this book is WEIRD. But it’s also hilarious and fun, and it was Ella’s absolute favorite for many weeks until we returned it to the library.
  7. by Alexandra Day. This classic series is about a little boy and his large dog who always manage to get into trouble while the mother isn’t watching.
  8. by Suzy Lee – This is a pretty short book, and it’s just perfect for a summer when you wish you were at the coast.
  9. by Molly Idle – This one ups the wordless book ante by adding flaps. The dancing flamingo and exuberant little girl who wants to dance along will definitely make you smile. (There is a coming later this year).
  10. by Lita Judge – This book isn’t TECHNICALLY wordless, but the only words it does have are the noises the animals make (which is fun to read aloud!) when they discover a sled left outside and decide to take it for a spin. , featuring the same cast of animals, is also fab.

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P.S. by Barbara Lehman is on my list of wordless books to read. Also, is a recent find and it’s charming.

And if you’d like a printable copy of this list that you can take to your library or screenshot on your phone for easy access, just pop in your email address below and it’ll come right to your inbox!


if you liked this post about wordless books, you might like these other posts:

  • The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak
  • 19 Best Books for a Baby Shower
  • Summer Unplugged: Books Off the Page


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About the Author: Thien Bao

Hello, my name is ThienBao. I am a freelance developer specializing in various types of code.