Back to Blog
*CCPL Staff picks are chosen by CCPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We’d love to hear your ideas too, so write to us and tell us what you’d recommend!*

What are wordless picture books and why are they good for children? 

A wordless picture book is one that has no, or very few, words (only pictures). With these books, the pictures tell the story through illustration alone. This format challenges children to use their imaginations to create or narrate their own text. This can provide an opportunity for storytelling, writing captions, developing oral fluency, developing visual literacy, and developing vocabulary skills for both young children learning to read and children learning English as a second language. Sit with your child or children and let them tell you the story as you move through one of these great wordless picture books. 

Tuesday by David Wiesner

Winner of the 1992 Caldecott Medal – Frogs rise on their lily pads, float through the air, and explore the nearby houses while their inhabitants sleep.

Sector 7 by David Wiesner

A 2000 Caldecott Honor Book  – While on a school trip to the Empire State Building, a boy is taken by a friendly cloud to visit Sector 7, where he discovers how clouds are shaped and channeled throughout the country.

Flotsam by David Wiesner

Winner of the 2007 Caldecott Medal – The story of what happens when a camera becomes a piece of flotsam.

Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell 

Winner of the 2018 Caldecott Medal – When a wolf cub and little girl are lost in a snowstorm they must find their way home.

A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka

Winner of the 2012 Caldecott Medal – A wordless picture book about all the fun a dog can have with her ball.

The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

Winner of the 2010 Caldecott Medal – In this wordless retelling of an Aesop fable, an adventuresome mouse proves that even small creatures are capable of great deeds when he rescues the King of the Jungle.

Once Upon a Banana by Jennifer Armstrong, illustrated by David Small

Everyday signs serve as captions for this pictorial tale of what happens after a man tosses a banana peel into the garbage can and misses.

One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey by Henry Cole

In pictures without words, the reader follows the journey of one brown paper bag from a tree in the forest through the years it is used by three generations of one family until eventually the old bag becomes the container in which a new tree is planted.

Journey by Aaron Becker

A 2014 Caldecott Honor Book – Using a red marker, a young girl draws a door on her bedroom wall and through it enters another world where she experiences many adventures, including being captured by an evil emperor.

Chalk by Bill Thomson

A wordless picture book about three children who go to a park on a rainy day, find some chalk, and draw pictures that come to life.

Fly! By Mark Teague

Mama bird wants Baby bird to learn to fly so he can migrate with the rest of the flock, but Baby bird would rather go by hot air balloon or car, instead.

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

In this story without words, a boy explores the woods after dark with a flashlight.

The Red Book by Barbara Lehman

A 2005 Caldecott Honor Book – A book about a book, a magical red book, without any words, and the friendship that develops around it.

Float by Daniel Miyares

“Wordless picture book about a boy who loses his paper boat in the rain”– Provided by publisher.

Museum Trip by Barbara Lehman

In this wordless picture book, a boy imagines himself inside some of the exhibits when he goes on a field trip to a museum.