There is just something about wordless picture books that elevate them to some of the best books to use with kids.
- They build language skills.
- They allow for creative thinking.
- They encourage critical thinking, noticing, and discriminating skills.
And, I could go on and on… But let’s jump into some of our very favorite wordless picture books available to enjoy with kids of all ages. This list is filled with classics and new releases.
Wordless Books for Kids
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One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey by Henry Cole is GORGEOUS. The preface pages show how a tree transforms into a paper bag. Then, we begin the journey of one of those bags through three generations. The bag is a carrier of many things and a keeper of memories. And, in the end, we get to see it become part of the circle of life. Don’t miss the author’s note about Henry Cole’s personal experience of the first Earth Day and a special bag in his life. And, this book is printed on paper from the Forest Stewardship Council.
When I saw the clever cover of Hike by Pete Oswald, I knew I was going to love it. A young boy and his father wake up and head out for a hike. We get to enjoy their beautiful journey through the mountains as they explore and capture their memories with photos to treasure for always. This book is perfect for Earth Day, a wordless picture book study, and/or Father’s Day. It’s one you’ll return to time and time again.
Let’s start with the Caldecott 2018 winner which is almost wordless- Wolf in the Snowby Matthew Cordell. A girl and a wolf both end up being lost in a snowstorm. Two unlikely companions become friends and show us the power of kindness.
Professional Crocodile by Giovanna Zoboli is a tale of a crocodile that preps for his day of work. You’ll be surprised what job he prepares for each day.
Another by the amazing Christian Robinson is filled with imagination. In fact, imagine you met another you!
Two different families who live in the trees learn about each other and more importantly how to help each other in Owl Bat Bat Owl by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick.
Waltz of the Snowflakes by Elly Mackay takes us along on a first outing to the ballet and theater to see The Nutcracker for the first time. There is an interesting play with color in the illustrations.
Imagine riding on a bee throughout the city. That is the journey you will take in Bee & Me by Alison Jay and learn a bit about ecology too.
Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle is pure beauty. Flora loves to dance with feather friends and has to work on the intricacies of doing so just as she did in Flora and the Flamingo and Flora and the Penguin.
We’ve all have lost something so we can easily relate to A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka.
One of my favorite books as a child was Tomie dePaola’s Pancakes for Breakfast. Of course, you will be inspired to make pancakes with the kids after enjoying this one.
Brick by Brick by Giuliano Ferri shows us the power in taking down walls and build bridges in this simple but powerful board book.
Float by Daniel Miyares is the story of a boy and his newspaper boat on a rainy day. Also check out The Neighbor Kid by Miyares.
Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day is a great choice for younger students. Plus, there are other Carl books in the series.
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs falls on the classic side. It’s every kid’s dream to build a snowman that comes alive.
In Grace for Gus by Harry Bliss, Grace uses her musical, artistic, and dancing talents to earn money to donate to a class fund to buy a pet. The illustrations are filled with little details that will keep you staring at the pages for a long time.
The Hero of Little Street by Gregory Rogers is full of adventure as a little boy escapes bullies. He jumps into a painting and continues another adventure with a trusty little dog. My boys would pick this one as a favorite on the list.
Flashlight by Lizi Boyd is a super creative use of dark and light to highlight all the life that exists outside during the day and night. Kids will be inspired to go on their own flashlight hunt after enjoying this book.
Pip & Pup by Eugene Yelchin is the story of two barnyard animals becoming friends. They have great fun with an eggshell until it gets broken to pieces. But, the pup has a backup toy.
Once Upon a Snowstorm by Richard Johnson is the story of a boy and father who are separated in a snowstorm. The creatures of the forest help to reunite the boy with his father.
Dandelion’s Dreamby Yok Tanaka is a dandelion that actually turns into a lion. Journey high and low with a lion it adventures around the world.
The Midnight Fair by Gideon Sterer takes us to the fairgrounds at night. As humans sleep, imagine all the animals coming to enjoy the sights and sounds of the midway. Take a ride with the animals on the carousel, watch them enjoy the cotton candy & popcorn, and win a goldfish. There is so much to enjoy in this wordless wonder.
The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky by Kim Jihyun is another treat. In this summertime book, a boy and his dog leave the city and venture to the countryside where he feels like he has entered a different world. Get ready to explore with him.
Next Door by Deborah Kerbel is the story of a new friendship between a deaf boy and his new neighbor. Their languages may be different, but they still find a way to connect.
Printable List of Wordless Books for Kids
Grab a printable list of the books shared above. Just click the purple rectangle printer button below.
I could keep adding to this list. There are still many more wordless picture books that are fantastic. Do you have a favorite? Leave a comment below so other readers can grow their reading list.
*This post first appeared on Growing Book by Book 3/19/18 and has been recently updated.