A wordless picture book is a great tool for developing a child’s love of storytelling. Free of reading levels, there is no wrong way to read these works by five talented women illustrators. The tales have the ability to teach story structure and further vocabulary development. When reading with your child, allow her to examine the pictures and tell you what SHE is seeing in the story. You might just be surprised by the answers.
Favorite Wordless Picture Books by Women Illustrators
Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle
Molly Idle considers herself both an author and illustrator; she is living the best of both worlds. Flora and the Flamingo, about the budding relationship between an awkward young girl and a graceful flamingo won the 2014 Caldecott Honor. There are several more Flora adventures, including Flora and the Peacock (see video below).
The Red Book by Barbara Lehman
In school author Barbara Lehman used to stare at maps and wish she could look right into a map itself and be able to see the actual places they represented and the people who lived there. This book is about a very SPECIAL book that takes readers on a magical journey without a single word. The Red Book is a 2005 Caldecott Honor Book and dedicated to Lehman’s father. She credits him with giving her a love of books.
Wonder Bear by Tao Nyeu
Tao Nyeu is the creator of Wonder Bear, which won the Founder’s Award from the Society of Illustrators and a Marion Vannett Ridgway Award Honor. The book follows the adventures of two children who come across a bear and his extraordinary hat. Nye began her career as a graphic designer and then attended the School of Visual Arts’ MFA Illustration program. She graduated in 2007 with a special interest in silkscreening and etching.
Flashlight by Lizi Boyd
Lizi Boyd was given her first desk when she was twelve. Her mother filled the top drawer with sketchbooks. This was the beginning of Boyd making books by looking, listening and finding stories. Flashlight is told solely through images with Boyd crafting a masterful exploration of night, nature, and art (watch the video below).
Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
Caldecott-medalist Peggy Rathmann originally wanted to teach sign language to gorillas. After taking a class in signing, she then realized she’d rather draw pictures of gorillas. Good Night, Gorilla is full of expressive art and follows a mischievous Gorilla who isn’t quite ready to go to sleep.
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