I’ve been reading stories without words. Turn the pages and you see beautiful picture puzzles for all ages of readers. Here is a collection of stories I love, ones I’ve also brought to international students who are learning English. And we have fun composing the story in words from the perspective of many cultures. The first one is a little bit longer than a picture book; in fact, it’s called a graphic book: Here I Am by Patty Kim, with pictures by Sonia Sanchez. Here’s a taste of a boy’s journey in this strange new land.
Mirror by Jeannie Baker is by now a classic and is still wonderful. The book guides us to read two different pages side by side. Each set of pages depicts times of the day of a family, one in Morocco, the other in Ms. Baker’s home country of Australia. I love how one culture becomes much more clear when we see how another culture shares much in common.
I’m including The Red Book by Barbara Lehman because this book could be from any culture, any reader in the world. It’s about the magic and wonder that comes from opening a book.
Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson, illustrated by Sydney Smith. A winner of a book from Canada. Like The Red Book this is also about wonder and imagination. Wonder in a red coat.
Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell. I love this book. It is simply a story about kindness overcoming fear, which I include here for the obvious reason among stories of many cultures.
Now, from one of my favorite illustrators, Raul Colon:
A boy alone in his room.
Sketchbook in hand.
What would it be like to go on safari?
That’s what these books seem to have in common. They open their arms to our imagination.
And here’s an article with some creative activities one could do with these books and others with English language learners, Wonderful World of Wordless Picture Books