Wordless picture books: a great way to get your child to tell the story

Small Things

Illustrated stories are an enjoyable way to develop visual literacy and help lead a child through a story. But have you tried a wordless picture book?

These encourage children to think for themselves and form their own interpretation of what is happening in the narrative. They’re a great way to expand the imagination and have a lot fun doing it!

Why not give one of these a go and see what you come up with…?

Time to Read: why we want families to keep reading together

  • Lines

    Author: Suzy Lee
    Publisher: Chronicle Books
    Interest age: 6-8

    A winter-themed wordless picture book about a skating girl that is both deceptively simple and completely delightful.

  • Return

    Author: Aaron Becker
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 4-8

    A lonely little girl can't distract her hardworking dad, so she takes her amazing red pen and draws herself into an adventure. This imaginative, fantastical escapade is wordless, but overflows with creativity.

  • Dog on a Digger

    Author: Kate Prendergast
    Publisher: Old Barn Books
    Interest age: 5-10
    Reading age: 5+

    This delightful pencil-drawn wordless picture book is a real beauty, with an affectionate relationship between a dog and his owner. Because it’s wordless, it presents a great opportunity for shared reading and talking about the lovely pictures.

  • Footpath Flowers

    Author: JonArno Lawson Illustrator: Sydney Smith
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 5-7

    A little girl spreads joy and colour through the grey townscape, when she picks and presents flowers from the pavements to the people and animals she meets. This wordless picture book is a beauty to behold.

  • Tuesday

    Author: David Wiesner
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 3+
    Reading age: 5+

    On a Tuesday evening, the sun is setting, and in the distance, an army of frogs on flying lily pads is approaching.

  • Here I Am

    Author: Patti Kim
    Publisher: Curious Fox
    Interest age: 5+
    Reading age: wordless

    The word-less book deals with the challenges of leaving a beloved home; coming to terms with the big changes you face in your new world; and the emotions surrounding this journey.

  • Small Things

    Author: Mel Tregonning
    Publisher: Allen & Unwin
    Interest age: 4-8
    Reading age: 5+

    This brilliant book manages to deal with bullying, fear of being different, frustration at underachieving, and the fact that while some things may appear small from the outside, they can feel unconquerable to those experiencing them.

  • Professional Crocodile

    Author: Giovanna Zoboli and Mariachara Di Giorgio
    Publisher: Chronicle Books
    Interest age: 4-7
    Reading age: 5+

    What does a crocodile do for a living? This delightfully unusual picture book explores that very question. A sophisticated yet accessible book that reminds us not to prejudge, but rather to examine, ask questions and to wonder at the world around us.

  • The Arrival

    Author: Shaun Tan
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 8-9
    Reading age: 8+

    In this unusual book, we follow a young man as he packs his bags and leaves his family to go and start a new life in another country

  • Flotsam

    Author: David Wiesner
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 7+
    Reading age: 7+

    The story of a boy finding a vintage camera washed up on a beach unspools like a silent film in this mind-expanding wordless picture book.

  • Little Eli: Egg, Cards, Pencil

    Author: Laura Bellini
    Publisher: Tiny Owl
    Interest age: 7-12
    Reading age: N/A

    This unusual and beautiful set of three tall, thin hardbacks in their slipcase chronicle Eli the dragonfly's simple story of perseverance without any words.