Wordless Picture Books

When it comes to picture books for children, the illustrations are every bit as important as the words. In fact, some children’s books don’t need to have words at all. Wordless books can help children learn to predict sequences and develop their own story-telling skills. Some, like David’s Wiesner’s Flotsam and Jerry Pinkney’s The Lion and The Mouse, have won Caldecott Medals for best children’s book illustrations. Here are few of the many wordless picture books Fairfax County Public Library offers. Find more by typing “stories without words” into the catalog search bar.
The Snowman, Raymond Briggs
A young boy builds a snowman that takes on a life of its own in this gentle tale.

Spot the Cat , Henry Cole
Follow Spot as he explores the city in this story rendered in intricate black and white illustrations.

Coyote Run, Gaetan Doremus
Coyote breaks out of jail and takes off on an adventure through the American West in this romp inspired by spaghetti westerns.


A girl dances with peacocks in this lift-the-flap book.

Skunk sees his world from a new perspective when a helium balloon takes him for a ride.

Sidewalk Flowers, JonArno Lawson
While walking with her distracted father, a girl appreciates the details in everyday scenes, such as flowers growing through cracks in the concrete.

In this classic wordless book from the sixties, a boy and his dog try to capture a frog, but the frog has other ideas.

Float, Daniel Miyares
A child discovers the most simple of pleasures: A boat made from folded newspaper.

The Lion and the Mouse, Jerry Pinkney
A classic fable is lushly interpreted by a beloved picture book artist.

Fox’s Garden, Princesse Camcam
One magical snowy night, a fox in search of shelter receives help from a kind-hearted child.

The Typewriter, Bill Thomson
A group of friends discover an old-fashioned typewriter with special powers in this tale told with vivid photorealistic illustrations. See also Chalk by this author.

Flotsam, David Wiesner
A camera found on the beach is full of secrets and surprises. See also Tuesdayand Mr. Wuffles by this Caldecott Medal author.

Do you have a favorite wordless book that wasn’t mentioned here? Please share it in the comments field.

-Suzanne LaPierre, City of Fairfax Regional Library

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