Let Illustrations Do The Talking


Take a Picture Walk Dallas Moms BlogThe minutes I spend reading to my kindergartner are some of my favorite in the day. We read a large spectrum of stories, visiting places such as Neverland, Oz, and the world of Dr. Seuss. 

But I’ve noticed it’s the picture books with no words that have inspired some truly wonderful talks. And now my oldest shares and “reads” these stories to her toddler sister.

The organization Reading is Fundamental has an excellent post about getting the most out of picture books. It’s helpful for books with and without words. Here are a couple of tips I took away for without:


  • Play “What’s that?” by pointing to objects on the page and having the child name what they see.
  • Read the story, stopping periodically to ask the child to find the picture of the object or character you just read about.


  • Help them pay attention to the clues the illustrator left to foreshadow what is coming.
  • Encourage them to predict what will happen next based on the pictures they are seeing.
  • Talk about what the child likes or dislikes about the illustrations.
  • Suggest children retell the story as they read it to you.

And here are some of our house favorites that let illustrations do the talking:

Journey by Aaron Becker

Finding a magical red crayon, a bored and lonely girl draws a new door on her bedroom wall that leads her to a wondrous but perilous new world.

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

The budding relationship between an awkward young girl and a graceful flamingo is revealed through carefully orchestrated flaps. (A second book, Flora and the Penguin, is also a fave).  


Flotsam by David Wiesner

A bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam – anything floating that has been washed ashore. But there’s no way he could have prepared for one particular discovery.


The Red Book by Barbara Lehman

This book is about a book. A magical red book without any words. When you turn the pages you’ll experience a new kind of adventure through the power of story.


Wonder Bear by Tao Nyeu

Two kids plant mysterious seeds and up grows a remarkable flowering vine, out of which emerges an even more remarkable big white bear.

Time Flies

Time Flies by Eric Rohmann

A wordless time-travel adventure.


Tuesday by David Wiesner

The whimsical account of a Tuesday when frogs were airborne on their lily pads.

Does your family have a favorite book told only with illustrations? 

Please share below, I’d love to see your recommendations. 

Happy Reading! 



**Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. 


  1. Love these! A few of our other favorites are Pancakes for Breakfast (Tomie dePaola); A Ball for Daisy (Chris Raschka); and The Farmer and the Clown (Marla Frazee).

    • We love Tomie dePaola! Did not know about Pancakes for Breakfast, looks wonderful, as do your other recommendations! Thanks so much (I’ve got birthdays coming up 🙂


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