How to Read a Wordless Picture Book

Guest Post by Rob Broder, Ripple Grove Press, and Piotr Parda

Wordless _article_

“I never read. I just look at pictures.” – Andy Warhol

Wordless, adjective: without using words, without speaking.

Working in the children’s picture book industry, we often hear, “Oh, wordless? I don’t get wordless picture books because I don’t know how to read them to my child. I don’t know what to say.”

“It’s wordless,” we reply. “You don’t have to say anything.”

A wordless picture book is an opportunity to engage your child in a story without having to read the given text. You can describe each page as you see it or you can have the child explain what they see. You can make up a story based on the illustrations or have the child make up a story. Even better, do it together! But most importantly, you can sit and share a book.

Reading with your child is a time to share a moment. Both of you are going to learn from the book and from each other. With a wordless book, you can have a different experience every time you turn the page. Read the book in silence and each will see something different.

We are proud that Ripple Grove Press is releasing its first wordless picture book in spring of 2017: Graduation Day by Piotr Parda.

While there are many discussions and articles out there about wordless picture books, Piotr Parda and RGP thought it would be best to present the idea in another way: wordless! Let us know what you think.

RGPkey_with_highlightsRob Broder is the president and founder of picture book publisher Ripple Grove Press. Graduation Day by Piotr Parda  will be published in Spring 2017. RGP’s spring 2016 list includes Salad Pie  written by Wendy BooydeGraaff and illustrated by Bryan Langdo, and Lizbeth Lou Got a Rock in Her Shoe, written by Troy Howell and illustrated by Kathryn Carr, and Monday Is Wash Day written by MaryAnn Sundby and illustrated by Tessa Blackham is coming this fall; Monday is Wash Day just received a star review from Kirkus Reviews.

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  1. I use stories without words with all of my students in grades 1-5 as a story-time. We first go through the book without anyone speaking, which, I can tell you is sometimes a challenge. We then go through the book again page by page taking turns telling about the story. The students love this!

    Liked by 3 people

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