The first book I've read to all three of my children was a wordless picture book, a book where the story is told through illustrations, without words or few words. Each one of my kids' continually changing reponse to Alexandra Days' Carl's Afternoon in the Park, has convinced me to recommend sharing wordless books to any parent. These books pack a powerful array of tools to develop the literacy skills needed to become a great reader.
My top 5 list of "Reasons to Share a Wordless Book"
Interactive- There is a lot of talking that happens when sharing a wordless book. Children learn to become good listeners and speakers leading to dialogue between parents and kids or even between kids. Parents and children can take turns telling and animating the story.
Universal- For families encouraging more than 1 language, these books are not defined to a language.
Promotes Storytelling- The story is in your child's hands. By focusing on the illustrations and not confined to authors words, children feel empowered and create the story from their unique viewpoint, using their own words, emotions, and tone. When children find words to describe the details in the illustrations, characters, and plot, they are developing vocabulary. Being able to tell a story in sequential order is an early literacy skill.
Fun- Children are drawn into and intrigued by seeing a completely illustrated story with some books using various artistic elements not typically found in traditional picture books. Reluctant readers can be comfortable selecting and reading these books.
Powerful in disguise- Kids ultimately develop higher level thinking by understanding the connection of the story they tell and the illustrations in the book. They develop conclusions to conflicts and make connections from the story to their own life experiences. They allow a kid's uniqueness to become the story.
So give wordless books another look and come into the library to continue the conversation.
Here are some recommendations to get started: