Wordless and Nearly Wordless Children's Books

shelved under Children's Books

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and these wordless books prove that sentiment.  Wordless books allow the reader to use their own imagination to create a story.  These are supposed to be for children, but I think these titles touch the child that still exists in all of us.


Pancakes for Breakfast

by Tomie dePaola

This charming book tells the travails of an elderly lady who attempts to make pancakes for breakfast. The lady's optimism paired with the sweet illustrations make this a gentle treasure that everyone is sure to love.


The Red Book

by Barbara Lehman

Sammy Perlmutter says:

A charming book about... a book. The story's protagonist reads her own "red book" and soon discovers that inside her "red book" another child reads his own "red book... and so on. When the book's hero glances directly out at you (the reader), you might just turn your own head around and wonder if some big, enormous being way out in space is reading his own "big red book" with you in it. What a trip.


Sector 7

illustrated by David Wiesner

Another treasure from the incredibly talented David Wiesner. Awarded the Caldecott Honor for Illustration in 2000. This story is set in the observatory of the Empire State Building. A young boy on a field trip is befriended by a cloud and is whisked away to Sector 7, the depot for clouds. I am not going to tell you anything else — you just have to read this charmer to find out more.


Snowflake Bentley

by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Mary Azarian

This book won the 1999 Caldecott Award as it should. This book is beautifully illustrated. Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley was a farmer born in 1865 in Jericho, Vermont (in the heart of the Vermont snowbelt). When he was 15 years old his mother gave him a microscope and he began to study snowflakes under the microscope. He was stunned by their beauty, uniqueness and delicacy. He spent the rest of his life studying and photographing snowflakes. This book is just terrific.

This book also appears on Every Single Caldecott Medal Winner



written and illustrated by David Wiesner

Another winner from David Wiesner. Frogs in a pond resting on their lily pads lift off, using their pads as a sort of botanical magic carpet. They zoom all over town, through a woman's living room, going back to their pond at sunrise. This multi-award winning book is a little bit science fiction, a little bit noir, and all in all a real treat.

This book also appears on Every Single Caldecott Medal Winner


You Can't Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum

by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman, illustrated by Robin Glasser

A little girl and her grandmother take a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There's one problem — the little girl can't take her yellow balloon into the museum. A kind guard ties the balloon to a railing and tells the little girl that he will watch it, but a pigeon ends up freeing the balloon and it takes off sailing all over New York City. The artwork the little girl views ties in with the escapades of the guard trying everything to save the little girl's balloon.



by Suzy Lee

Suzy Lee does an excellent job using charcoal and acrylics to emote a young girl's fear and surprise of ocean waves. This is a vibrant story, full of laughter and joy. Adults will just love this book too.