How to Read a Picture Book without Words at The Well Read Child

A few weeks ago at the library, my son and I found some really amazing wordless picture books. As we "read" them and I fell into silence looking at the beautiful pictures and the stories they were telling, my son would yell, "Louder Mommy!  Read louder!" and I realized, there is a definite art to reading a wordless picture book out loud and wondered if some parents found these "visual storytelling" books intimidating.  So, I sat down and wrote and thought and wrote about how to advise a "reader" to go about reading a wordless picture book out loud.  You can read my thoughts at the wonderful blog of picture books, and now chapter books for kids of all ages as well (with the occasional review by me and many other great kid's literature enthusiasts) at The Well Read Child on Thursday, November 20th. And, don't forget to check the winners of the National Book Awards tomorrow to see if my predictions for a win by Laurie Halse Anderson's remarkable, incomparable, stunning new book, Chains will take top prize is right!


Jeremy said...

I think I've done ok with those books, prompting the kids to notice details, talking through the progression of the story, and going back to see cues we missed...but none of us has ever enjoyed it, and I don't bother taking them out any more...so maybe I haven't approached them properly.

I had ordered a few of the ones you've pictured here because they were award winners, but it was a huge disappointment to find that they contained no words. Like watching a music video on mute.

Tanya said...

Yikes! I hope what I wrote goes beyond what you have already experienced. I don't think it does, though. I think wordless picture books are really labors of love for the readers and not everyone's cup of tea. I wanted people to take a look, or a second look at some great books that might get pushed to the side.

Z-Kids said...

Great article! I loved it... We adore wordless books over here.

Tanya said...

Thanks for reading and commenting - just checked out your blog Bookie Woogie - what a great idea to blog with your kids about the books you read! The book inspired art is wonderful to see!! Keep up the good work!