Minimal Words

Sometimes when it’s midterm time, you just need a few books to hand to your three year old so he can read by himself.  We love to find interesting books that have very few or no words. Since he was very small we would “read” them to J, telling stories and pointing out interesting features. It may have been a mistake, since now when I hand him a wordless book to read by himself, he wants me to read it. He actually does better by himself with books with words and pictures, so I guess that throws my whole theory out the window. But I am still going to offer you my top favorite wordless books in as few words as possible so I can get back to my homework.

Wonder Bear by Tao Nyeu is about two children who plant a magical seed. Overnight a plant grows and from it comes Wonder Bear. He takes them on adventures with his monkey troop. I really want to make embroidery out of the illustrations; they have strong lines and sweet details.  J’s imagination is especially inspired by Wonder Bear, he often tells us stories not included in the book about this loveable giant polar bear.

Rainstorm by Barbara Lehman.  Lehman has written a few books full of imagination and wonder, and this is my favorite. It shows the story of a lonely child who lives in a very big house. While wandering through it one day he finds a key to a secret passage that connects to the lighthouse on an island across the bay. There he finds friends! The illustrations are clean and simple and full of wonder and interesting detail. I also love how much hope and joy exists in a story about a lonely child finding companions.

The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney is one of this illustrators most lovely books. Pinkney illustrates and sometimes rewrites fairy and folk tales. He is wonderful. The Lion and the Mouse is lush and rich and the detail in his illustrations is amazing. It is the story of a lion that catches a mouse but sets him free. Because of that act of kindness, the mouse returns the favor when the lion finds himself caught in a hunter’s net.

Well, there you go, a tiny, quick blog update.

Lehman, B. 2007 Rainstorm. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company

Nyeu. T. 2008. Wonder Bear. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers

Pinkney, J. 2009. The lion and the mouse. New York: Little, Brown, and Company