How to read a wordless book

Here at BOOK IT!, we’re all about reading. More specifically, reading words. So how, and why, should someone read a wordless book? Wordless books are about telling stories through illustrations. They are especially great for expanding a child’s critical thinking, creativity and storytelling skills. Take your time, enjoy the illustrations and unearth a story together with your kids. Here are some simple tips to get started:
  • Take a look at the cover and the title of the book. Ask your students what clues they see about the story and its plot. What do they think this book will be about? What do they think the characters will do? What does the title tell them about the story?
  • Take your time with each page. Let your children explore the illustrations and guide them to make educated guesses about the story. More than other types of books, wordless books need time. It is easy to flip too quickly through a wordless book, but to find the story you will need to dedicate time to examine each page.
  • Ask your students about what they see, but don’t forget to ask in-depth questions as well. Great questions are “How do the characters feel?” “How would you react?” “What do you think will happen next?” As the plot progresses, encourage thoughtful participation with questions that put your students in the story.
  • Prompt your students to use evidence to back up their answers. Let them explore the illustrations and make connections as you move through the pages. Invite them to get up close and personal with the illustrations so they can inspect the details and dig deeper into the book.
  • Have fun! Work together to tell a story from the illustrations, and encourage them to express their ideas. There is truly no wrong answer when reading wordless books.