Monday, January 14, 2013

#readitmummiesanddaddies2013 - A picture paints a thousand words

"The Chicken Thief" by Beatrice Rodriguez
For Week 2 of the "Read it, Mummies and Daddies" 2013 campaign I wanted to take a look at various topics, resources, links and of course children's picture books that can help parents and children who aren't confident about reading aloud for any reason.

We've taken a look this morning at an innovative children's story app that uses sign language to enhance children's story books in an electronic form, with both 'read' and 'signed' text adding to the experience and utilising the power of modern tablets and PCs.

Here's an alternative idea for parents who don't want to go down the technology route for any reason and it's a fairly simple idea but one that can be really powerful. Stories without words.

We have looked at several picture-only story books while putting together content for Read It Daddy including Beatrice Rodriguez's utterly fantastic range of children's stories like 'The Treasure Thief' and the above pictured 'The Chicken Thief'.

For early readers there's the opportunity to take a breather from having to decode text or wrestle with phonics. For adults, there's the opportunity to shape a story themselves and describe their interpretation of what's going on in the illustrative panels.

Better still, for non-confident readers who have children who can't yet read, this is a unique opportunity to let them 'guide' the story. While we read 'The Treasure Thief' it was great to see Charlotte's reaction to what she thought was going on in the tale, and it was easily as satisfying as having the story laid out in text form to compliment the images on show.

When I first started reading to Charlotte, I felt that text-free story books felt a bit disappointing as they took away the opportunity to do silly voices or took away the ease of interpretation. But to fuel the imagination and to spur a child's mind into describing what they're seeing, they're utterly invaluable and can lead to some seriously rewarding moments.

I'm really interested in hearing from anyone who uses text-free story books and has any recommendations as we've really encountered very few and are probably missing out on some real classics. Do you have a favourite picture-only story book? Please drop a comment below, we'd love to check it out!

Other wordless story books to try: 

'The Snowman'
By Raymond Briggs

'Banana Skin Chaos' by Lili L'Arronge (as suggested by @TheStrollingMum)

'Window' by Jeannie Baker (as suggested by An Vrombaut)

'Mirror' (also by Jeannie Baker - as suggested by Polly Faber @

'HUG!' by Jez Alborough (suggested by several people, and technically it's a one-word book but we'll allow it anyway because Jez is such an ace chap!)

'Clown' By Quentin Blake (suggested by Jane Porter)

'The Arrival' by Shaun Tan (in fact any Shaun Tan book! They're all incredible!)

'Flotsam' by David Wiesner (Recommended by Sarah Kimmelman @ Andersen Press)

'Squirrels' by Brian Wildsmith (Recommended by Catherine Friess @ Storysnug)

'Moonlight' and 'Sunshine' by Jan Ormerod (Recommended by CJ Harper)

'The Lion and the Mouse' by Jerry Pinkney (Recommended by Laura B Main Ellen)

'Foxley's Feast' by Owen Davy (Recommended by Templar Publishing)

'Up and Up' by Shirley Hughes (Recommended by Anne-Marie @ Child-Led Chaos)

Books that have words, but predominantly encourage communication and discussion between parents / children (like wordless books do)

'You Choose' by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt (Recommended by Tracey Kewley)
'Rosie's Walk' by Pat Hutchins (Recommended by us and Tracey Kewley)


MsXpat said...

I like the idea of a wordless book. My son loves books but does not always have the patience to listen to the story he some times likes looking at the images and being told what they are.

Wally Mummy said...

What an interesting idea - we do baby signing (just started) so that app sounds right up our street! xx