Can wordless picture books teach literacy skills? Yes! True reading is so much more than just decoding printed text on a page. Reading is about gaining meaning from symbols, both letters and pictures. A wordless book is a great introduction to the world of books and reading for any early childhood classroom.
Wordless Picture Books for Preschoolers
Reading wordless picture books in your preschool classroom is an excellent way to help young children develop important emergent literacy skills.
Some of these literacy skills include:
- An understanding of how books work; “reading” from left to right, front to back.
- Concepts of plot (what happens in a story) and characters (who is in the story).
- Vocabulary and oral language skills as they talk about the book and its pictures.
- Inferring and predicting
- Comprehension and summarizing skills
That’s a lot of literacy happening in books without words! Here’s one of my many book lists featuring my favorite wordless picture books for you below.
Best Wordless Picture Books
Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaola
Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann (although not completely wordless it still supports all the skills listed above)
The Red Book by Barbara Lehman
Truck by Donald Crews
Changes, Changes by Pat Hutchins
Chalk by Bill Thomson
Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day (nearly wordless)
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
Deep in the Forest by Brinton Turkle
The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
Where’s Walrus? by Stephen Savage
Have You Seen My Duckling, by Nancy Tafuri
A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog, by Mercer Mayer
Rain, by Peter Spier (check your local library)
Wolf in the Snow, by Matthew Cordell
Red Sled, by Lita Judge
Anno’s Journey, by Mitsumasa Anno
Journey, by Aaron Becker
Flashlight, by Lizi Boyd
Spot, the Cat, by Henry Cole
Unspoken, by Henry Cole
The Adventures of Polo, by Regis Faller
Flora and the Flamingo, by Molly Idle
Trainstop, by Barbara Lehman
Float, by Daniel Miyares
Night Out, by Daniel Miyares
That Neighbor Kid, by Daniel Miyares
A Ball for Daisy, by Chris Raschka
Fossil, by Bill Thomson
The Typewriter, by Bill Thomson
Flotsam, by David Wiesner
Tuesday, by David Wiesner
Rainstorm, by Barbara Lehman
Museum Trip, by Barbara Lehman
Red Again, by Barbara Lehman
Do you have a favorite wordless story? Let us know in the comments.