Wordless picture books are sometimes daunting for adults-- we are so used to following along with the text! What do you mean I have to improvise? Don't give up on them just yet. There are a lot of benefits to wordless picture books:
- They're great for English language learners
- They allow children to tell stories themselves and build their own language and storytelling abilities
- They provide an opportunity for close looking at the pictures
- They don't require an adult for reading
Here are some tips for how to approach wordless picture books with your kids:
- Approach the book with wonder. Say, I wonder what this book is about. There are no words, so we'll have to look at the pictures together to tell the story.
- Go slow. Most wordless picture books include detailed images. The story is in these images. Slow down so your children have a chance to observe and absorb the details in the pictures.
- Ask lots of questions. What's happening on this page? How is she feeling? What happened when she did that? What do you think is going to happen next?
- Add dialogue. You can make up dialogue for the characters. Ask your children what they think the characters are saying and then use your voice to act it out.
- Don't be afraid to return. The pace of wordless books is much slower, so don't be afraid to put it away part way through and return later. Your kids may not be able to sit through a long and detailed reading of a wordless book right away.