Got Words?

It may seem counterintuitive to help your child learn to read using wordless books (since reading involves words and all…). These books, however, are actually great for developing some important pre-reading skills.

Since they show a clear order of events—first, next, then, finally—wordless books can help children develop narrative skills. Plus, even without words, children are able to see how books are read from left to right and front to back, as they follow the illustrations.

Wordless books also promote creativity. Even though a good portion of the plot is dictated by the illustrations, there’s always room to add more information or interpret the story in a different way. In fact, this can be a great way to keep from getting bored with a book—just change the story a little bit each time you read it!

In her book, The ABCs of Literacy: Preparing our Children for Lifelong Learning, Cynthia Collins states: “…wordless books promote language development because children experiment with finding the precise word or phrase to accurately portray the image presented. When parents read aloud these types of texts and focus on using language inventively, our children learn from our example and take their own risks with retelling the tale.”

So, if you haven’t read a wordless book with your child recently, you should try one out. Check out some of my favorites:

Flora and the Penguin

The Girl and the Bicycle

A Ball for Daisy

Bow-Wow Bugs a Bug

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