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The Benefits of Wordless Picture Books

Today we are going to explore the benefits of wordless picture books.  Why they are great for kids, what they can learn by reading them, and fun ways to use them.

I will tell you straight out that I am very fond of wordless picture books.  I like them for many reasons but the main one is the wonderful possibilities presented when reading them. Wordless picture books are a great way for boys to enjoy books!

Wordless picture books are wonderful because of the stories that the reader can create.  The imagination can run wild and each child can create his own story or stories.  Even within the confines of the illustrations a person can see different details that may take them in many directions. Different people reading the book will tell the story differently and use a variety of vocabulary and dialogue to describe what is happening.

In this post and posts to come I am talking about true wordless picture books.  I have seen a lot of nice lists that have books that have some words in them.  Those are fun too, but for me wordless picture books are, well, wordless.  Makes sense, right? 🙂

Wordless picture books are wonderful. That goes without saying. Find out why they are so great and 10 things kids can learn by using them. BONUS: Wordless Picture Book Activities! Click image to read more.

This post may contain affiliate links which means we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. All opinions are our own and we share things we think would be of interest to boys.

Developing stories as a child reads a wordless picture book is such good practice for reading and for storytelling.  It gives the reader a chance to follow along with a pre-designed story but they can use their own words and interpretations.  They have a chance to follow the plot of the story and even change it a bit to suit their idea of how the story should go.  I love that.

Boys who are not big readers really enjoy wordless picture books as they can tell or “hear” the story in their mind by just enjoying the illustrations. Following along with the illustrations is a very effective early reading activity and works just as well for boys who don’t really like to read text.

I think these books are a great way to stretch learning and get kids excited about books. Basically there is a lot to see and the pressure is off.

Wordless picture books work very well for everyone from non-readers to emerging readers on through to those who are excellent readers. They also work well for people of all ages to read together.  I personally really enjoy reading wordless picture books.  There is just something special about them.  I hope you will add them to your reading lists.

10 Things Kids Learn by Reading Wordless Picture Books:

  1. New vocabulary
  2. Visual literacy skills (interpreting images)
  3. Storytelling
  4. Story structure
  5. Characterization
  6. Memorization
  7. Sequencing
  8. Narration
  9. Oral communication
  10. Imagination and creativity

Fun Activities to do With Wordless Picture Books:

  • Record your child telling the story in his own words.
  • Have your child draw a different ending to the story and slip it into the back of the book.
  • Have several people read the book to your child and have him pick out differences between the stories.
  • Write text for the wordless picture book.  Type out your child’s version of the story and keep it with the book or use post it notes to attach the text to each page.
  • Last but not least—make wordless picture books of your own.

Flotsam is our all-time favorite wordless picture book for boys.


We love this books for so many reasons.  The illustrations are outstanding, the story is very imaginative, plus the lead character is a boy.  Highly Recommended!

To read more about the benefits of wordless picture books and to see our lists with other great wordless picture book picks go to:

Classic Wordless Picture Books and

Fun Wordless Picture Books to Read




Tuesday 22nd of September 2015

I've seen a few wordless books. Really neat idea. For older kids, I was thinking it could be used for creative writing and let them write the words or story. Thanks for sharing with #What to Read Wednesday. We hope you will be back next week.


Friday 4th of September 2015

We love wordless picture books because we can make up a new story every time! I love your activity ideas - writing a story to go with the pictures would be great writing practice!

Sheila Rogers

Saturday 5th of September 2015

Hi Emma, I am a huge fan of them. So glad to know you like them too. Ya know, we have a lot in common! Thanks! I am glad you like the activity ideas.


Friday 4th of September 2015

I used to really enjoy looking and talking about wordless books with my kids when they were small. In retrospect, I see what a great activity that was.

Sheila Rogers

Saturday 5th of September 2015

Hi Beth, To be honest I still seek them out at the library for myself :)

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors

Friday 4th of September 2015

Sheila, I love your ideas for things to do with wordless picture books. The only wordless book we have is Good Dog Carl, and it does have a few words. My kids and now my grandkids loved that book, and it's fun the make up different stories when we read it.

Sheila Rogers

Saturday 5th of September 2015

Thanks so much Jann, I do hope you will grab a few wordless books for the grandkids. I do love Carl too but he didn't make our list because of the words :)


Tuesday 1st of July 2014

Picture books are still favorite in our home, I love hearing my son's creativity come unleashed as he makes up stories to go along with what he sees. I really like the idea of making our own wordless picture book, but he's not interested in drawing much. We'll see though, maybe I can coax him into doing a little bit here and there this summer.


Tuesday 1st of July 2014

Hi Alli, We too still love picture books. Here are a few ideas for a boy who doesn't really like to draw but might enjoy making his own wordless picture book. You could have him take pictures. One book idea might be My Walk Around the Neighborhood. You could also cut out a bunch of pictures from magazine and have him glue them into a notebook and tell his story that way. Hope that helps. You gave me a couple of post ideas :)