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kidsREAD

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A wordless book?  No, it's not an oxymoron.  It's a story told entirely visually. Some feature largely full-page spreads, others might resemble a comic, with multiple images on a page.


Whereas a picture book immediately says children's book (to me) - the pictures are there to illustrate the words - wordless books go far beyond.  


THIS IS NOT MY HAT by Jon Klassen is a great example of a picture book - although the pictures actually contradict the words, which is what make this story such fun!  I was introduced to the book by my friend's 5 year old son.  He loved showing me the pictures and was giggling over the little fish's false sense of security. This reading is not so fluent, but this video is the clearest that I've found.)


Compare this some wordless books. In the second video, a girl 'reads' Jeanie Baker's wonderful THE WINDOW, which charts the changes in an idyllic environment over a 20 year period - all seen through one window.  So much to talk about with your child here - what’s changed (spot the difference!)


In the third video, my good friend, Chuah Ai Lin, shares the book for the KidsRead volunteers, supplying a 'text'.  It was the kidsREAD programme which introduced me to the world of wordless books - another reason why I am a fan of this excellent NLB initiative.


If you’re looking for more wordless books, I strongly recommend a ride through Aaron Becker's award-winning  The JOURNEY (then go back to Harold and the Purple Crayon, which travels very similar territory!)


For Teens+, see Shaun Tan's THE ARRIVAL - all 128 pages!!!! of stunning work . Tan is from Malaysia, grew up in Australia. His book deals with the immigrant experience.


And cross-culturally, peer into Jeanie Baker's MIRROR. The book opens in the middle and you unfold it - on the left is a story about a boy in Sydney, on the right a story about a boy in Morocco.  They unfold opposite each other - 1st/3rd world captured in her collage art work - and gradually you'll see the worlds/families are not so far apart.  The video does a great job of capturing the two worlds (but not the experience of looking at this beautiful book!) Yes, there are words in English and Arabic, which set up the story - but just on the very first (ie middle!) pages.