Picture Books With Little Text

Here are some of my favorite books without words, well with very few words.  These were some of the first books the girls would “read.”  They loved that they could tell the story through the pictures and I liked that these are great picture books that allow them to practice early reading strategies.  While the girls do really enjoy them, I did say my favorite books because honestly these are all classics I bought before the girls were even born.

Tuesday by David Wiesner

Tuesday by David Wiesner_Cover

Something weird is going on in the marsh.  Suddenly all the frogs sitting on their lily pads take flight.  With only dates and times, the vivid pictures tell the story of the frogs wild night flying through the local town.  It’s an imaginative story that leaves you just a little disappointed when the sun comes up and the lily pads with their frogs drop to the ground.  Of course, there is always next Tuesday…


Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmanngorilla0

Gorilla steals the zoo keeper’s keys and while the zoo keeper says goodnight to each animal, gorilla unlocks the cages.  We love Peggy Rathmann in this house!  The girls think this one is hilarious; they especially enjoy the wide eyes of the zookeeper’s wife when she sees all the animals in her bedroom.


Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day


Really any of the Carl books could make the list.  Carl is black lab and a wonderful babysitter who keeps the baby safe during their adventures and gets the baby back before the mom returns.  Some might consider it questionable parenting to leave a dog in charge of the baby (although family legend has it that my parents did the same thing) but to a child it makes perfect sense.


Honorable Mention–Blackout by John RoccoJohnRocco-Blackout

This one received honorable mention because while much of the book doesn’t have words, there is enough dialogue throughout to be a bit too much to say “no words.”  Also it’s a newer book that the girls and I discovered.  Living in an apartment in the city,  one family is a disconnected and caught in technology when a blackout strikes.  Despite the dark, the neighborhood comes alive, both out on the street and up on the roof.  By the end, while the lights come back on in the city, in this apartment the family decides to keep them off and continue spending time together.



Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day

P1010854For Christmas the girls were given Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis from their Nana.  They love this book!  And I do too because it does such a great job describing so many different emotions.  Besides the expected emotions (happy, mad, sad) there is also joyful, quiet, and discouraged.  The humorous text and colorful pictures keep my girls entertained.  They also enjoy the spinning wheel at the back of the book where they can change the girl’s expressions to match her mood.  And I’ve noticed that the book has helped the girls express themselves better (and has caused them to ask for more feelings cards for our daily calendar board).

They also received and really enjoy My Brave Year P1010856of Firsts–Tries, Sighs, and High Fives.  In it, Jamie Lee Curtis describes all different firsts that Frankie goes through, mainly during her first grade year.  Some are happy and others hard, but all the firsts are entertaining.  And all of them teach us that as hard as new experiences can be, they are always exciting and happen when you are “brave, true, and strong.”


Balloons Over Broadway

If you are a fan of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade you will love this book!  And if you aren’t a fan, you will probably still enjoy it.  I am embarrassed to admit this but our girls still haven’t seen the Macy’s parade due to our Turkey Day travels, but they love reading this book all year long!  (Don’t worry, this year I tivo-ed the parade for us).

This book tells the story of Tony Sarg who designed the original Macy’s parade and how he came to invent the giant balloons we see today.  Much of the art mimics his studio and projects.  My girls love talking about the pictures and what each little piece means.  I love that a non-fiction books encourages such creativity and demonstrates the power of imagination.

Like I said, we actually read this book all year long.  And we were so inspired by it that when focusing on The Very Hungry Caterpillar we made the caterpillar puppet from the book.

Manana Iguana

Written by Ann Whitford Paul, this colorful story is a fun, Southwestern adaptation of the story The Little Red Hen.  While I’m not always a fan of retelling stories, this one I really liked.  Iguana and her friends decide to throw a party on Saturday.  Each day Iguana asks her friends, a rabbit, turtle, and snake, to help with a party chore and each day they have a reason why they can’t.  On the day of the party, Iguana explains can’t greet the guests and have it be “their” party since they didn’t do any of the work.  The friends feel so bad that after Iguana goes to sleep they clean up the party mess and make amends.

I really like how my girls could see how upset Iguana was getting.  Every time we read the story, they say “Iguana is getting mad because they aren’t helping.”  What a great message!

I also like that the book introduces Spanish words in a way that is evening to understand.  The days of the week and animals’ names are all in Spanish as well as some other easy words and phrases.  But the English word or a picture is also used so that children can easily see what the word means.  It’s a fun way to expose children to Spanish, whether you want them to learn the actual words or just see that there are other languages out there.

While I focused on Manana Iguana, Ann Whitford Paul actual has quite a few books out:

And if you like those you might also be interested in these…

Bats at the Ballgame

Since our theme this week is Bats and Baseball, it makes sense to share one of our favorites–Bats at the Ballgame.  The writing is lyrical, the pictures beautiful, and the concept precious.  It’s a favorite in our house!

The girls love baseball (I’m sure their dad’s love of the game has nothing to do with it) so they really enjoyed the entire premise of the story.  The pictures are precious as bats meet at an abandoned fairground to play a game of baseball, the fans hanging upside down in stands, the players wearing little jerseys with their wings poking out.  The story has a great rhythm and goes through all the aspects of a real baseball game–the plays, the outs, the national anthem, seventh inning stretch, even the snacks.  And it really captures the excitement of a game.

Restless wings begin to itch–
excitement’s at a fever pitch.
At last it’s time, and with a sigh,
we hustle out to diamond sky.
Hurry up!  Come one–come all!
We’re off to watch the bats play ball!

The other books–Bats at the Library and Bats at the Beach–don’t let us down either.  We love them both!  Bats at the Library is very sweet as the librarian has left the window open and the bats get a special treat of enjoying the library.  I love that it includes bats as the lead characters in various children’s stories.  It also makes the library a magical place that bats are clamoring to get into.  Who doesn’t love that?


We just picked up Bats at the Beach.  Our family loves bats and the beach so it only made sense.  The girls have enjoyed seeing the bats do all the things that they like to do at the beach.  And who wouldn’t enjoy a book that has lines like, “Bug-mallows toast on slender sticks while cousins do their ocean tricks”?




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