Tag Archives: wordless

One Little Bag by Henry Cole

One Little Bag by Henry Cole
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

We passed this little gem all around the children’s department at my library, gasping and awwwing all the way through. I would be shocked if it’s not a finalist for the Caldecott. From his website, Cole seems to be talented across different media; I had to double-check that I had the right Henry Cole’s website, but it appears he is, in fact, the one behind Big Bug, Three Hens and a Peacock, and And Tango Makes Three.

One Little Bag is a wordless and mostly color-less story of a boy who reuses a paper bag throughout his whole life. It starts by following a log in its journey to become the bag, and the note after shares how Cole’s environmentalist background, and experience reusing a paper bag in childhood, led to the story. Then we follow the bag as it holds a child’s lunch every day, and then goes on to play a role in the big events in his life. In each spread, the only spot of color is the light brown of the bag (or log before it’s a bag). The story is lovely and sweet, and also stars an interracial couple.

Aquarium by Cynthia Alonso

9781452168753by Cynthia Alonso
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

My cousin had asked for recommendations for wordless books for her 4-year-old daughter. I gave her a bunch of authors/illustrators like Aaron Becker, Daniel Miyares, and David Wiesner, and she came back with Cynthia Alonso and Princesse Camcam. Aquarium is gorgeous artistically, though the story is relatively simple, but imaginative and great for a 3-4 year old.

Board Book Roundup

9780714878829Can You Eat? by Joshua David Stein
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

Second only to Orange Pear Apple Bear, this book is the best I’ve seen that plays with homonyms and rhymes in a very simple yet fun way. It will have you considering the words in your own life.


Go to Sheep by Jennifer Sattler
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

Go to Sheep is a very cute bedtime read that reminded me of Sheep in a Jeep (and not just because they both feature our ovine friends). Perfect humor for grownups and kids!

9789888341535Mirror Play by Monte Shin
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

My boss and I couldn’t stop playing with this book! We realized it was likely to get destroyed approximately 5 seconds after we put it out on the shelf, but that did not dissuade us. Perfect for the spatially-inclined – and you don’t need to know how to read to enjoy it on your own! Mirrors and rotating designs encourage readers to find the shape using the mirror flap. For slightly older kids, check out Which One Doesn’t Belong by Christopher Danielson.

Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell


by Chad Sell
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

This reads like a collection of short stories, but with interrelated characters. Sell wrote each one with a different collaborator (though the tone and style are so seamless you wouldn’t know it by reading) and each story focuses on a different kid in the neighborhood. Somehow they’re all interested in playing dress-up knights and dragons and queens – even the neighborhood bully. I especially liked that we got a glimpse into his life and why he’s unhappy (he lives with his grandmother because his mom can’t take care of him – details are sparse) but it wasn’t the focus of the whole book. Other kids have other issues – one boy’s parents are getting a divorce, and Dad keeps showing up at random times and upsetting everyone; one girl’s dad objects to her wearing a mustache as part of her costume (“What would people think?”); another boy wants to be a sorceress. Generally, it’s the grownups who have trouble with what the kids are doing, though some kids feel like misfits and have a hard time making friends and eventually find a pal among the crew. Conflicts are very minor and very easily resolved.

Good for fans of: Comics SquadAll’s Faire in Middle School, and also has some stretches of wordless panels that might appeal to reluctant readers! If you liked it, you might like the Awkward series.



by Aaron Becker
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

I was so excited to see this final installment of the Journey wordless picture book trilogy come across my path, but I was a bit disappointed. I remembered Journey and Quest as being visually breathtaking, but this one felt rushed somehow. Not one of the spreads was arresting and I even went back to the first two books to see if I was remembering them correctly. I was – they’re still as beautiful as ever. But I hadn’t noticed that some of the lines had the same sketchy quality as in Return. I think it’s just more prominent in this one, and for some reason it really stood out to me – possibly because the plot was not as engaging for me, especially because it consists of Dad coming and rescuing our heroine and her friends. Yawn.