Words Not Included

Try one of these wordless book to build vocabulary, comprehension and storytelling.

Are you surprised that a librarian is suggesting books with no words? Don't be! Sharing wordless books is a wonderful way to develop literacy skills like vocabulary, comprehension, and storytelling. Since these stories are told only through illustrations, each "reader" must notice details, make inferences, and imagine the story.

There is no "correct" way to share a wordless book. Start open-ended conversations about the characters, setting, and clues in the pictures. Pre-readers will build confidence and feel empowered to tell the story in their own words. Older children may enjoy the challenge of writing their stories down. Best of all, wordless books contain beautiful artwork, a universal language that anyone can appreciate.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started. As always, you can find these and many more at any Charlotte Mecklenburg Library branch! Just ask for wordless picture books or stories without words.


by Lizi Boyd (2014), Ages 2-6

A little boy slips out of his camping tent to explore the night. His bright flashlight beam reveals different animals and objects on each dark page. But what will happen when the raccoons get their paws on the light?


Where's Walrus?

by Stephen Savage (2011), Ages 2-6

When a clever walrus escapes from the zoo, he disguises himself to avoid the zookeeper's net. Readers will delight in spotting him at the fountain or in the window display, even as the zookeeper remains baffled.


Welcome to Mamoko: use your eyes!

by Aleksandra Mizielinski (2013), Ages 5-8
Read the first pages to learn character names and get story prompts, or just pick a character and follow him from page to page. Part seek-and-find, part picture book, there are dozens of possible storylines!


Sidewalk Flowers

by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith (2015), Ages 6-10
An observant little girl picks wildflowers while walking in the city with her distracted dad. She gives away her flowers as they travel, laying thoughtful bouquets beside people and animals they pass.



by Aaron Becker (2013), Ages 6-10

When a little girl draws a doorway on the wall of her bedroom and opens a portal to another world, she begins a journey full of magic, danger and excitement.

Don't forget, wordless books can also count toward your Summer Reading goal! Sign up, record reading time, and earn prizes through August 15 at cmlibrary.org/summerread. Be sure to tell us about the books you are enjoying this summer (even if they are full of words)!