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The wonder of wordless books by Jenny Thomas

Written by Lucie Carr


Wordless books are often off the radar when it comes to popular favourites which is a travesty! Yes books are there to read and school children are often chomping at the bit to get a few more tricky words in their repertoire, but the humble wordless book has a massive role to play during pre-school and early years development.

Why do we love them so much? They take the pressure off reading! This newfound desire to read is so often it’s downfall; many a tear has been shed trying to decipher the English language at bedtime, it is hard, frustrating, sometimes exhausting. A book without any words means it’s game over for reading, allowing your child to actually take a step back and put their practice on pause. It also means that you engage well before bed which often puts the brakes on the standard delay tactics when little brains can’t quite switch off as they have too much to say!

These books score major points in the imagination stakes as there is free reign to really explore any avenue you like, there are no wrong turns or corrections, just guaranteed adventures and exploration. It helps that our shop only stocks books that feature beautiful illustrations because it is these pictures on a page that develop into an idea or an imagined scene.

You might think you have no creativity in storytelling, and your child shows very little imaginative rambling so methodical storybooks suit you better. Countless times I have felt foolish making something up, as if my five year old is about to call my bluff and question my sanity, but more often than not, within a few pages we are having an open chat about the characters, what they are thinking or doing, and where they are going. A few prompts is all it takes and if they are really not getting involved then you can call time on the story whenever you like, that’s the beauty, YOU choose how quickly you get to happily ever after!

If you are interested in trying out a wordless book here are some of our favourites and a few tips to get you started:

Look at the faces on the pages, are they happy, sad, excited? Why are they thinking that?
What sort of sounds might they be hearing in their story? Add these sounds in and create movement to bring it to life, we love a bit of tip-toing or whooshing. What have they learnt during their story, how do they feel at the end? Where might they be going next and who might they meet? Lots of food for thought, GOOD LUCK!


Pool by Lee Jihyeon






Flashlight by Lizi Boyd






Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle





Mamoko by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski






If you fancy checking out any of these books in more detail then just click on the title.

Check out Jenny’s beautiful online book shop, Smallprint Books, here.

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