20 Wonderful Wordless Picture Books

A collection of the most wonderful wordless picture books to share with your children and add to your bookshelf.

There are so many great picture books to choose from - fabulous read aloudspreposition rich textsriotous rhyming books, A to Zs of alphabet books but every book shelf needs to save some space for some of the most wonderful wordless picture books! Sharing 20 of our most favourite wordless books and why you should have some in your picture book collection.


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20 Wonderful Wordless Picture Books - 20 of some truly wonderful wordless picture books you and your children are sure to enjoy | you clever monkey
Journey - the first of a trilogy, is a elaborately illustrated wordless book that follows a lonely girl on her journey as she escapes the boredom of her bedroom into a magical world. You can watch this short video about how the book Journey was made. It's amazing being able to watch Aaron work. 



Quest is the second book of the series by Aaron Becker while Return concludes the trilogy.

Belonging (or if you're in the US - Home) by Jeannie Baker. Baker has a very distinctive style creating collages for her picture books. In Belonging we get to follow the changing landscape and re-greening of a city as we watch a little girl grow up. I really like her book Window too.



Where's Walrus? by Stephen Savage we loved from the moment we saw this clip and the book doesn't disappoint. Kids love trying to spot the walrus after he escapes from the zoo. He wears many disguises trying to evade the zookeeper - a fun book for younger children particularly.



Zoom by Istvan Banyai we gifted to a family member earlier in the year. It's so cleverly done - a page will zoom out detail featured on the previous page and so the layers build.




Leaf by Stephen Michael King is another beautifully illustrated watercolour book that has you watching time pass after a seed lands on the head of a wilful young boy who was evading a haircut.




Sunshine and Moonlight by Jan Ormerod are two books each of my three children have loved because they can see themselves in the story which is of a little girls day from first light to late at night.

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Changes, Changes by Pat Hutchins I bought after seeing a post on Teach Preschool a while back. I'm always on the hunt for good books that invite action or encourage experimentation and Changes, Changes is a great addition to a block area.

A Long Piece of String by William Wondriska is an older book originally published in the 1960's but I love an alphabet book and this one is unique.


Flashlight by Lizi Boyd is very clever book that uses a mostly black and white palette to capture the night time exploration of a child in the forest. 



Anno's Counting Book by Mitsumasa Anno is, I admit, technically not a wordless book but it's one that I remember loving when I was a kid so for old times sake, I'm including it here! My youngest has just discovered this book from our shelves and is fascinated by the changing scenes on each page. 




The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney is one that sat on my wishlist for a long time. I'd read a review that raved about the illustrations but only recently added this book to our collection. The review was right - the illustrations in this book, a re-telling of an Aesop's tale, are amazing.

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Flotsam by David Wiesner was one book many of you recommended when I was searching for new wordless books one day and it doesn't disappoint! A day at the beach can be very exciting. Tuesday by the same author/illustrator is also worth a look.


The Snowman by Raymond Briggs is a classic from the late 1970s but hasn't really dated. A favourite in colder climates, it took many years for me to come across a copy here in Australia.



Flora and The Flamingo by Molly Idle was a 2014 Caldecott Honor book and as you flip through it, you can understand why. Flora and the Flamingo tells the tale of two friends through a beautifully innovative series of interactive flaps as they travel their way through their friendship.



Chalk by Bill Thomson has such a fantastic premise - three children discover a bag of magic chalk one rainy day in the playground. You can imagine the storytelling as their drawings come to life! With such stunning artwork, Chalk is one of my children's favourite wordless books! 

Outside the US? 
I recommend The Book Depository.

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

20 Wonderful Wordless Picture Books - a list of some truly wonderful wordless picture books you and your children are sure to enjoy | you clever monkey


Why add a wordless book to your library? For the many reasons that Jackie from My Little Bookcase explains perfectly in her post on Using and Enjoying Wordless Books. For me, it's because the illustrations become the star. Reading a normal picture book you don't always spend time looking at the artwork, turning the page as the words end.


But as Jackie points out, without words, there is no cue to turn the page leaving you more time to absorb the images in front of you.  




I also like wordless books as they allow even the youngest child the opportunity to read a book to someone instead of being read to. They can decide on the narrative which can change from reading to reading. Wordless books invite storytelling.




Do you have any wordless books in your collection?  What do you love about them?