The Best Wordless Picture Books

The best worldess picture books are learning tools for children of all ages. You can appreciate the visual story, sequence, infer, imagine, predict, learn story structure (beginning, middle, end,) consider theme, learn vocabulary (English Language Learners, too!) or use to inspire writing.  Here are newly published wordless picture books you’ll want to know about.

I’ve found several amazing wordless picture books that have just been published recently you’re going to love.

The Best Wordless Picture Books

The best wordless picture books
Bee & Bird,
written and illustrated by Craig Frazier
A bird’s journey captured in vivid colors. Watch on YouTube.

The best wordless picture books
A Ball for Daisy
by Chris Raschka
When a bigger dog accidentally ruins Daisy’s favorite ball, she feels such loss and sadness. We are reminded in this hopeful ending that sadness doesn’t last forever.


The best wordless picture books
The Conductor
by Laetitia Devernay
The Conductor climbs to the tallest tree in the forest of verdant circle-topped trees, raises his baton, and begins the concert. The tree leaves become leafy birds who soar off to fly, filling the skies with patterns and shapes in white, green, and creme. When the trees are empty, he bows. He climbs down and the bird-leaves begin to return to the trees while the man plants a seed that will grow into a new tree. Exquisite.

The best wordless picture books
The Umbrella
by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert
The red umbrella carries a small scottie dog from his leaf-blown street to the African savanna, the waves of the ocean, deep below the sea, a monkey-filled jungle, icy polar regions, and finally back home to his street. He prances off, leaving a black cat to investigate the red umbrella . . .

The best wordless picture books
No Dogs Allowed! by Linda Ashman and Kristin Sorra
What a gorgeous book with a very clear sequence and turn of events. I really love this book, and if you love animals, so will you. Plus, Linda Ashman is a fellow Denverite!! The owner, Alberto, of a fancy bistro turns away a young customer and his dog and replaces his Welcome sign with a NO Dogs Allowed sign. More customers with animals of every kind – cat, kangaroos, elephant – arrive and are turned away. The customers and their animals all congregate at the plaza fountain and lemonade stand. Alberto changes his ways by serving everyone cupcakes, welcoming them all back, and renaming his restaurant, All Critters Bistro.

Reading Activities To Do With Wordless Picture Books

–> Child “reads” the story to you using the pictures to say what’s happening.

–> Write the story on sticky notes – talk about the sequence of events. Mix up and reorder.

–> Write words about the story on sticky notes. Make into a poem.

–> Write your own wordless picture book.

–> Talk about the pictures – use this to build vocabulary, model making connections, notice the illustrator’s techniques.

–> Imagine what sounds and dialogue would be happening in the storyl

–> Predict what will happen next.

–> Talk about plot elements, beginning, middle, and end.

–> Act out the story.

–> Older Kids: Look at the illustrations throughout the book. Notice the color choices. Does that have any significance? What emotion do you feel when you see all the illustrations? What connections to the story do you have? How do your connections help you infer the overall message of the story? What, in your opinion, is that message (or theme)?

More of the Best Wordless Picture Books 

The best wordless picture books The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
The Red Book by Barbara Lehman
Tuesday by David Wiesner
Zoom by Istvan Banyai
A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog by Mercer Mayer
Owly & Wormy, Friends All Aflutter by Andy Runton
Flotsam by David Wiesner
The Snowmane by Raymond Briggs
Wave by Suzy Lee
Shadow by Suzy Lee
Truck by Donald Crews
Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaola
No! by David McPhail
Hug by Jez Alborough
Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day
All in a Day by Mitsumasa Anno
Chalk by Bill Thomson
Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee

Have you read . . . 
 From Reluctant Reader to Voracious Reader

 6 NEW Ideas for Reluctant Readers

royalty free images from Grandma’s Graphics

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to your life. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. says

    These look fantastic. I’m especially interested in learning more about The Conductor. Thanks for the longer list of wordless books, too. I am just starting to “read” more of them. I really like Wave (by Suzy Lee), which you’ve listed. Oh..and Tuba Lesssons by T.C. Bartlett and Monique Felix :)

  2. says

    What a terrific list, Melissa (and thanks for including mine)! I just reserved The Conductor from the library — it looks fabulous — and recently read the very clever Bee & Bird. When my son was young, we loved John Goodall’s wordless books, especially those featuring Naughty Nancy. They’re hilarious!

  3. says

    Hocus Pocus is a wordless graphic novel…cute for young kids. The David Weisner ones are so amazing! My mother in law gave Wave to my middle daughter. She made up words to the story and we wrote them in and then my mother in law translated it into Japanese to help expose her to that language.

    I have to say that I am always personally amazed how well a wordless picture book tells a story. The pictures have to work extra hard but it’s totally amazing for kids to be the storyteller so to speak.

    A few others:

    Most of the books by Anno
    Wonder Bear by Tao Nyeu
    The Wonder of Maps

    Flotsam is one of my kids’ very favorite books. Thanks for this list. LOL, I’ve been working on this same topic for a post but didn’t even find 10 wordless books.

  4. says

    Wonderful – thank you, Melissa! Wordless books are such a unique resource – thanks for sharing specific titles as well as suggestions for how to use them with young kids. I’m definitely passing this along!

  5. Cynthia says

    Another juicy topic Melissa! I’m happy to get new titles to explore! I would like to build on your suggestion to use wordless books with English Language Learners. They’re also great for native English speakers who need support with extending their well of oral language (the root of literacy) They are excellent texts for vocabulary and language development: from key words to longer natural language phrases and idiomatic expressions that fluent speakers take for granted! Books that appear simple are often goldmines for word play and ‘fancy expressions’ with fluent speakers and readers of all ages.

  6. Kelly says

    Melissa, cannot thank you enough for this fabulous list. After a beautiful day playing on the beach and in the water, I thought Wave would be the perfect way to finish the day. My sweet 4 year old daughter dove right into the illustrations and her story unfolded with fun dramatization!
    On one page, she imagined the wave was a mermaid’s tail splashing in the ocean. Just love children’s imaginations! Looking forward to digging into some more of your suggestions :-)

  7. says

    I love wordless picture books, I remember “reading” them when I was younger and I have looked for them for my kids’ but even the librarian couldn’t find any for me. Thank you for the list!

  8. says

    I have another title to add to your list.

    It’s a book by that legendary, british illustrator and author, Quentin Blake.

    The book is ‘Clown’ by Quentin Blake. And yes, there are no words.



  9. says

    I love your list.. so many good books for our kids to read and to be read to. We always read to our kids from a very early age, and now they are doing the same for their children. A great way to encourage learning and sharing time together.

  10. says

    Hi! I’m a mother of two, but also a children’s book writer/illustrator. My very first book, published in 2007, is a wordless book. I love those. And I also love your blog. Check out my book, if you can find it. It’s called La mer (The sea), originally published at La Pasteque.
    Here is the amazon link for the english version (!) to be published soon:
    You can see a few images from my website here: or here, on my blog:
    Have a nice day! :)

  11. Mary says

    The Good Dog Carl books are great too. Watch out though, you may decide you have to have a Rottweiler.


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