No words? No problem!: Fun With Wordless Books

We are excited to introduce our new monthly blog contributor Marni Fogelson! Marni is a children’s book author that writes awesome tips to support parents as they raise strong readers!

Although the words in children’s books play an important part in building kids’ vocabularies, wordless picture books offer a creative way for parents and children to imagine their own stories.

Children love wordless picture books: in addition to often being beautiful to look at, they help kids feel confident, independent, and part of the storytelling process. Wordless picture books are also helpful for parents or grandparents who may not be strong readers or who are not able to read in English; readers of these books can use whatever language or communication means they want to tell the story!

In more traditional books, it’s easy to focus on reading the text but miss rich illustrations unless our child asks a question or points out something. Wordless picture books encourage parents and children to make observations, ask more questions, and even make connections between what is going on in the pages of the book with their family’s life or the world around them.

One of our favorite parts about wordless picture books: the stories can be “read” and “reread” dozens of times, creating new storylines, focusing on different details or characters, and simply adding to the fun of storytime!

Here are a few favorite wordless picture books:

wordless books

A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka

A dog is out for a walk with his beloved ball when it gets taken (and then destroyed) by another dog. Fear not: this story has a happy ending…and a great lesson about sharing and friendship.

wordless books

Inside Outside by Lizi Boyd

There’s so much to point out and discover in this book, which takes readers on a tour of the wonderful day-to-day possibilities for indoor and outdoor activities in each season.

wordless books

Mirror by Jeannie Baker

Mirror contrasts life and landscape in rural Morocco and urban Sydney, Australia as two boys go about their days, eating meals, spending time with family, and going shopping.

wordless books

Pool by JiHiyeon Lee

A boy and a girl dive beneath the surface of a busy pool and find themselves in an exciting underwater world where they encounter creatures both magical and real.

wordless books

Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole

When a young farm girl discovers someone hiding in her family’s barn during the Civil War, she must decide whether to help or not.

wordless books

Journey, Quest, and Return by Aaron Becker

Aaron Becker’s trilogy of beautiful wordless picture books invites the reader on fantastic and imaginative adventures that are rich in detail and will provoke plenty of discussion.


Marni Fogelson is the co-chair of Team First Book Philadelphia, a nonprofit with the mission of providing new, diverse, free books to local children in need. She is also a children’s book author and has written for various parenting and design websites and publications. She loves reading to and with everyone in her family, including her dog Sparky (who is a great listener). Discover the amazing work First Book Philadelphia is doing @FirstBookPhiladelphia