Tips for Reading Wordless Books with Kids

Tips for Reading Wordless Books with Kids

By Jessica Linn Evans


Wordless books provide a unique approach to reading that encourages imagination and improves verbal and story-telling skills in children of all ages. Kids can have a new adventure every time they come to the book or tell the same familiar story to themselves over and over. Pre-readers can have the excitement of being able to “read” the book on their own. 


Here are a few tips for reading wordless books with your kids:


  1. Share the storytelling—Wordless books allow you and your child to be co-authors to the story.

  2. Ask questions—A good question is often the beginning of a great story!

  3. Take time to explore—Let your child explore the illustrations and talk about what they see.

  4. Don’t forget to have fun!—Be dramatic and add sound effects!

  5. Read it again!—Read the book over and over, telling a different version of the story each time.


Wordless books can be an inspiration for imagination beyond storytime. Since children get to co-author the story, the same creative ideas they come up with are available during playtime. Here’s a picture of one pre-reader playing Penguin Sets Sail with her toy penguin. Please note the “spyglass” (an important element from the book)! 


Here is a video on my YouTube channel featuring parents using the above methods while reading Penguin Sets Sail with their children.


Do you have any favorite wordless books or fun experiences sharing that kind of book with your child? Please leave your story in the comments!


Recommended wordless book titles:


Penguin Sets Sail by Jessica Linn Evans

Journey by Aaron Becker

The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

The Fisherman & the Whale by Jessica Lanan

Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day

Tuesday by David Wiesner

Flotsam by David Wiesner


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Jessica Linn Evans is an author-illustrator and
 SCBWI member. Her illustrations are rendered with traditional media including: watercolor, graphite, and ink. 

Her debut picture book, Penguin Sets Sail, released May 2020 from Canonball Books and Rainstorm Publishing. She has also illustrated Waiting Through Winter by Jason Farley (Jovial Press, 2015), Little Mouse Finds A Friend by Jeni Leidenfrost (Jovial Press, 2017), and Solar The Polar by Kim Constantinesco (MacLaren-Cochrane, 2017).

Jessica is an elementary school art teacher, a school librarian, and a high school volleyball coach. She lives in the beautiful state of Idaho with her husband, her four delightful children, and a bunny named Bucky.


To learn more about Jessica and her books, visit www.jessicalinnevans.com. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram

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