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That almost sounds like a contradiction in terms. However, wordless picture books can be a very enjoyable and beneficial addition to your child's bookshelf, whatever your child's age.
Wordless books often promote more discussion than books with words, which leads to better comprehension. We tend to focus on, and appreciate, the details in the pictures more in these types of books. They also encourage the introduction of new vocabulary, help develop storytelling skills and present many opportunities to practice writing.
For pre-readers, wordless books give them the opportunity to actually read and understand a book all by themselves. Beginner readers can be encouraged by their ability to 'read' the story fluently, albeit using words of their own choosing.
This can be motivating at a time when most of their reading will be frustratingly stilted. They also learn that clues to a story can be found in the pictures, which is a useful reading strategy to help them when reading text. Independent readers can benefit significantly from telling or writing the story unfolding in the pictures.
They can be encouraged to add detail about the setting, characters and plot to help develop their storytelling skills. There are many ways of using wordless picture books with your child and each method will help to develop different literacy skills.
You can read more about these methods below. The best wordless picture books to choose for this purpose are those which lend themselves to a narrative structure, with a distinct setting, characters and a plot.
You can find examples of some of my favourite wordless picture books here. Using Wordless Picture Books Here are some ideas for how you can use wordless picture books with your child to help develop their reading, writing and comprehension skills.
Encourage Discussion When I read a picture book with words to my children we stop to discuss the story at times. They may ask a clarifying question or I might ask them something to check their understanding and develop their comprehension skills.
However, often my children just want me to get on and read, and I am also mindful of not interrupting the flow of the story too much.
This probably means I don't always follow their lines of enquiry or expand on comprehension points as deeply as I could. With wordless picture books it is different.
The beauty of these types of books is that there is much less pressure to read the story in a prescribed way. I can pause and discuss the pictures at length without feeling that I am interrupting the flow of any words. Research at Utah State University confirmed that many mothers are more responsive to their children when they read them wordless books.
So take time to talk about the pictures, follow up on your child's observations, build vocabulary, make connections and ask questions.
Introduce New Vocabulary One of the obvious ways of using wordless picture books with your child is to tell the story which accompanies the pictures in your own words. Interestingly, the researchers at Utah State University discovered that mothers who read a wordless book used richer language, more complex sentences and longer phrases than mothers who simply retold the printed story.
So this is an effective way of introducing new vocabulary to your child. As well as explaining the action in the picture, don't forget to also describe what else you see in the picture, using as many detailed words as possible.
Appreciate the Visual Story When I am reading a picture book with words to my children, I tend to focus so much on the words that I barely look at the pictures. I am sure my children see far more detail in the illustrations than I do.If you want to learn more about writing picture books, head over to the Picture Book Blueprint here and take their amazing course all about writing the best ever picture book..
1- Don’t preach to your readers or try to moralize, the story will come off as heavy handed. From Writing Children's Books For Dummies, 2nd Edition. By Lisa Rojany Buccieri, Peter Economy.
As you explore writing children’s books, you enter a different world, one filled with book formats — from board books to young adult novels — and a whole different set of .
Before you dive into writing your own picture book, take some time to peruse what’s already out there, suggests Santopolo. “Once you read through a lot of stories, you’ll be able to see the type of story you want to write yourself,” she says.
My three top tips for writing picture books:  Don’t write your story in rhyme unless you can’t NOT (my latest picture book IS in rhyme but I still have to remind myself that unless there’s a REALLY good reason to rhyme, it’s better not to).
7- Remember you are writing for people who can’t yet read themselves.
This is the thing I find most exciting about picture books – the author is introducing words and stories to fertile imaginations. 8- Strong characters, strong narrative, and beautiful language are baseline requirements.
Politics can be a contentious topic to address in any scenario these days—but that doesn't mean you should avoid including politics in fiction if the story warrants it.
Here, Aimee Agresti offers her best tips for writing about politics in a novel.