Wordless Books 2020 Roundup

January 15, 2021 | Pat

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It's time again for our annual feature of 2020 wordless books!

There are lots of good reasons to consider looking at wordless books to promote literacy development, which I have previously posted about. Check out our 2019 roundup of wordless books and my article on using wordless books to promote the development of pre-literacy skills. This year's selections should not be thought of as the top five books, but rather a range of examples of the format. Wordless books can cover just a few minutes, an afternoon, a few days, several months or more than thirty years, with similar versatility to written books.

The Farmer and the Monkey
The Farmer and the Monkey by Marla Frazee (ages 4-8)

A lonely farmer has a mysterious attachment to a red conical hat. A monkey who appears to come from a passing circus train steps into his life briefly, vexes the man and his animals, but also helps lift him from a deep funk. This is a follow up to 2014's The Farmer and the Clown. 

Mayhem at the Museum
Mayhem at the Museum by Luciano Lozano (ages 4-8)

On a school field trip to New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, a girl and her class are advised not to touch the art. This in no way prepares them for the mischief that the art within has in store for them.


One Little Bag
One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey by Henry Cole (ages 4-6)

A brown paper bag, originally meant to carry a flashlight home from the store, is reused as a lunch bag the next day... and the next, and the next. Emphasizing "reuse" in the three R's of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, this tough little bag is repurposed a number of ways over a generation.

The Paper Boat
The Paper Boat by Thao Lam (ages 6-9)

From Canadian author Thao Lam come two parallel stories. A girl rescuing ants from her soup with chopsticks is forced to flee her home. The ants also climb into a paper boat she left and set themselves adrift for a while, subsisting only on the paper sail and rainwater.


The Walk
The Walk by Celia Sacido (ages 3-6)

A man out walking his dog starts a game of fetch, and a flock of birds get in on the game.

Posted on behalf of the Children's Selection Team.



What are your favourite wordless books? How do you share their stories with your children? Tell us about it in the comments.