Best Kids Books About Wordless

A Roundup of the Best 31 Wordless Children's Books

Updated Mar. 12, 2019

Wordless books are a special and beautiful genre within the children's book world. They're a wonderful tool for developing your (and your child's!) imagination, requiring you to interact more with the book as you choose what story evolves from its pages... and it can be different every time! They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that's definitely true in this collection of wonderfully illustrated wordless books we've compiled for you!

Flora and the Flamingo book
Flora and the Flamingo
Written and illustrated by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

In this wordless book with interactive flaps, a friendship develops between a girl named Flora and a graceful flamingo, as they learn to dance together.

Flora and the Peacocks book
Flora and the Peacocks
Written and illustrated by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is a gorgeous wordless picture book. The very expressive illustrations of Flora and the peacocks' facial expressions and body language are priceless, and the lift the flaps for the peacocks' tails add a fun different dimension.

The darling, dancing Flora is back, and this time she's found two new friends: a pair of peacocks! But amidst the fanning feathers and mirrored movements, Flora realizes that the push and pull between three friends can be a delicate dance. Will this trio find a way to get back in step? In the third book featuring Flora and her feathered friends, Molly Idle's gorgeous art combines with clever flaps to reveal that no matter the challenges, true friends will always find a way to dance, leap, and soar—together.

Journey book
Written and illustrated by Aaron Becker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is a beautiful wordless picture book following a young girl through her imagination to a world where things don't always work out as she expects. She has to think fast, but with a little creative problem solving and a lot of imagination she's able to discover just what she was looking for—a friend. A fresh take on a journey with elements vaguely reminiscent of Where the Wild Things Are and Harold and the Purple Crayon!

Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination — and unexpected friendship. A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.

Noah's Ark book
Noah's Ark
Written and illustrated by Peter Spier
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from Grammy

Peter Spier is a genius and this is one of his best. I love the details in every illustration. He incorporates spare text from the Old Testament, complemented by the inclusion of a seventeenth-century poem, which he translated from the Dutch original. (For a real treat, look up the book on youtube, James Earl Jones reads the poem!) The first time I read this I was stunned by how many of the unexplained details of the Flood story Spier had contemplated and included for the reader's consideration. One illustration, in particular, has stayed with me for nearly a quarter century: one of a group of elephants standing in thigh-high water. There is so much to look at and talk about on every single page. This book is a joy to read!

Retells in pictures how a pair of every manner of creature climbed on board Noah's ark and thereby survived the Flood.

The Girl and the Bicycle book
The Girl and the Bicycle
Written and illustrated by Mark Pett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-8

A wordless picture book in which a girl sees a bicycle she wants to buy, works hard for a kindly neighbor to earn the money for it, then gets a pleasant surprise.

Once Upon a Snowstorm book
Once Upon a Snowstorm
Written and illustrated by Richard Johnson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This wordless picture book has gorgeous illustrations to tell its story of a boy who gets lost traveling in a snowstorm with his father. He ends up making friends with the animals in the woods who share a snack with him and help him find his way back to his dad. :) I loved the details in the the illustrations--the snowflakes and constellations were both made up of animals.

The story of a father and his son who live by themselves in a cosy cabin in the woods. But, one day they are separated out in the beautifully falling snow. The boy is lost and falls asleep. When he wakes up he is surrounded by blinking eyes, a rabbit, a fox, an owl and all manner of other creatures have surrounded him! But with a bear hug he and the woodland animals become best of friends! But soon he misses his dad and so the animals bring him back home. The father opens up his heart and home, and lets nature and love envelop their previously lonely existence.

Pancakes for Breakfast book
Pancakes for Breakfast
Written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Thoughts from Grammy

At our house, we love Tomie DePaola. This fun wordless story about how complicated it can be to make pancakes for breakfast is a fun opportunity to talk about the process for making something, including tracking down ingredients and putting in the effort to create something delicious, and how one might be helped or undermined by one's companions. Sound familiar? It makes me want to make pancakes for breakfast, or lunch, or even dinner.

Tomie de Paola. A wordless picture book about the trials of a little old lady who attempts to make pancakes for her breakfast. Three-color illustrations. Paperback.

Flotsam book
Written and illustrated by David Wiesner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

When a young boy discovers a camera on the beach and develops the film, he finds with his microscope many layers of pictures within the photographs.

Unspoken book
Written and illustrated by Henry Cole
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this wordless picture book, a young Southern farm girl discovers a runaway slave hiding behind the corn crib in the barn and decides to help him.

Wolf in the Snow book
Wolf in the Snow
Written and illustrated by Matthew Cordell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A girl is lost in a snowstorm. A wolf cub is lost, too. How will they find their way home? Paintings rich with feeling tell this satisfying story of friendship and trust. Here is a book set on a wintry night that will spark imaginations and warm hearts, from Matthew Cordell, author of Trouble Gum and Another Brother.

Sidewalk Flowers book
Sidewalk Flowers
Written by JonArno Lawson and illustrated by Sydney Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A little girl collects wildflowers while walking through town with her father.

Owl Bat Bat Owl book
Owl Bat Bat Owl
Written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

An owl and a bat family endeavor to share living spaces on the same tree branch, where initial wariness is overcome by the curiosity of the families' babies on a wild and stormy night that compels them to set aside their apprehensions.

Where's Walrus? book
Where's Walrus?
Written and illustrated by Stephen Savage
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Follows Walrus on a journey through the city, as he tries on different hats to disguise himself from the chasing zookeeper.

Tuesday book
Written and illustrated by David Wiesner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Frogs rise on their lily pads, float through the air, and explore nearby houses while their inhabitants sleep.

Red Sled book
Red Sled
Written and illustrated by Lita Judge
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

At night, a host of woodland creatures plays with a child's red sled.

Free Fall book
Free Fall
Written and illustrated by David Wiesner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When he falls asleep with a book in his arms, a young boy dreams an amazing dream-about dragons, about castles, and about an unchartered, faraway land. And you can come along.

Museum Trip book
Museum Trip
Written and illustrated by Barbara Lehman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In this wordless picture book, a boy imagines himself inside some of the exhibits when he goes on a field trip to a museum.

The Red Book book
The Red Book
Written and illustrated by Barbara Lehman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In detailed illustrations, a young girl crosses oceans and continents to meet a new friend, in a wordless book-within-a-book story.

Professional Crocodile book
Professional Crocodile
Written and illustrated by Mariachiara Di Giorgio, Giovanna Zoboli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Mr. Crocodile loves his job. Every morning he gets up with an alarm. He brushes his teeth. He chooses the right tie to match his outfit, eats a quick slice of toast, and heads off to work on a crowded train. But what exactly is his job? The answer may surprise you! Readers will want to pore over this witty, wordless book again and again, finding new details and fresh stories with every reading.

Good Dog, Carl book
Good Dog, Carl
Written and illustrated by Alexandra Day
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Grammy

It was really interesting for me, coming back to this book after so many years. It reminded me of both The Cat in the Hat and Nana from Peter Pan. A few of the events in the book reminded me of our neighbor's old dog, Max, a German shepherd/great Dane mix who seemed competent enough to be left to mind the baby. Other scenes, though called for a little suspension of reality, like when the baby went down the laundry chute and landed perfectly fine in a pile of clothing at least one story down in the house. The illustrations, rich with color, are wonderful and the very limited text allows for plenty of opportunities to talk about what is happening on each page, including plausibility, if you are so inclined. Carl is the dog that every family needs and wants.

Available in paperback for the first time, the modern classic that introduced the beloved baby-sitting rottweiler to the world.

Mary Had a Little Lizard book
Mary Had a Little Lizard
Written and illustrated by Kayla Harren
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Thoughts from Mr. Stacatto

No written words here, but the illustrations spell things out perfectly. One day, Mary's unique pet decides to jump in her backpack when she's running late for the bus. Trouble ensues when the lizard's school-time explorations get a little too messy.

A modern take on “Mary Had a Little Lamb” featuring hilarious antics as Lizard sneaks into Mary’s backpack and causes nothing but mayhem in her Kindergarten class. He eats someone’s lunch, makes a mess in the painting corner, and scares the teacher silly during story time before being sent to the principal’s office to wait for Mary's mom to pick him up. It’s no fun being alone. But when Mary finally comes home from school, Lizard knows he’ll always have his very best friend. Rendered in a combination of traditional and digital color, Mary Had a Little Lizard is a silly, satisfying celebration of new experiences and friendships that can never be broken.

The Lion & the Mouse book
The Lion & the Mouse
Written and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In this wordless retelling of an Aesop fable set in the African Serengeti, an adventuresome mouse proves that even small creatures are capable of great deeds when she rescues the King of the Jungle.

Flashlight book
Written and illustrated by Lizi Boyd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Inside a tent it's cozy. But what is going on outside? Is it dark? Is it scary? Not if you have your trusty flashlight! Told solely through images and using a spare yet dramatic palette, artist Lizi Boyd has crafted a masterful exploration of night, nature, and art. Both lyrical and humorous, this visual poem—like the flashlight beam itself—reveals that there is magic in the darkness. We just have to look for it.

Once Upon a Banana book
Once Upon a Banana
Written and illustrated by David Small, Jennifer Armstrong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Everyday signs serve as captions for this pictorial tale of what happens after a man tosses a banana peel into the garbage can and misses.

Wonder Bear book
Wonder Bear
Written and illustrated by Tao Nyeu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Making her debut with this publication of her M.F.A. thesis project, Nyeu tells the wordless story of two children who cultivate an enormous beanstalk-like plant, which in turn sprouts the titular bear, all in one night. With help from Wonder Bear's magical blue hat, the children are treated to a series of fantastic spectacles and adventures, culminating in a ride through the sky on the back of a royal dolphin in the company of other sea creatures.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.