How to Read a Wordless Book

Question: What is the best way to read a wordless book with my 4-year-old- daughter? -- Concerned

Answer: First, relax. There is definitely no right or wrong way to read a wordless picture book. The entire story of a wordless book rests on the illustrations, and from a very early age, all children are drawn to a book's illustrations first.

Begin the book by looking at its cover. Tell her the title and then begin going through the book looking at the pictures together. Do talk about what you both see in each illustration. The next step is to go back through the book telling the child a story about the pictures. Often, after turning a few pages, your young daughter will just take off "reading" the book to you from what she sees.

Here are a few wordless books that you might like to read together. Many more are available at your local library or bookstore.

"Pancakes for Breakfast," by Tomie dePaola

"Chicken and Cat," by Sara Varon

"The Secret Box," by Barbara Lehman

"Chalk," by Bill Thomson

"Robot Dreams," by Sara Varon

"The Adventures of Polo," by Regis Faller

"Trainstop," by Barbara Lehman

"Tuesday," by David Wiesner

"Museum Trip," by Barbara Lehman

"A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog," by Mercer Mayer

"If You Lived Here You'd Be Home By Now," by Ed Briant