PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS: Two great wordless picture books!


Welcome the much-anticipated finale of Caldecott Honoree Aaron Becker’s wordless trilogy—a spectacular, emotionally satisfying story that brings its adventurer home.

Failing to get the attention of her busy father, a lonely girl turns back to a fantastic world for friendship and adventure. It’s her third journey into the enticing realm of kings and emperors, castles and canals, exotic creatures and enchanting landscapes. This time, it will take something truly powerful to persuade her to return home, as a gripping backstory is revealed that will hold readers in its thrall. Caldecott Honor winner Aaron Becker delivers a suspenseful and moving climax to his wordless trilogy, an epic that began with the award-winning Journey and continued with the celebrated follow-up Quest.


I have thoroughly enjoyed the trilogy of wordless books by Aaron Becker that conclude with this book.  Not only do the books focus on the joys of imaginary play, but the illustrations are gorgeous and present many opportunities for discussion with young readers.  Simply asking a child what he/she sees in the illustrations could lead to some fabulous discussions.  The fact that these books also remind me of Harold and his purple crayon doesn't hurt anything as that was a favorite book from my own childhood.  Comparing the two books would make for some great conversation as well.  As a wordless book, the entire story is told through the illustrations, which in this case are detailed enough for repeated reading not to get boring, especially if the child tells the story.  The illustrations are full of variety with two page spreads, single page spreads, and action step by step sequences on a white background.  The book flows quickly and smoothly as a father works to get himself back in his daughter's good graces after being unavailable for kite flying.  A delightfully rich story told through beautifully placed illustrations.  This is a must have!



Using just nine words, the award-winning creator of Chalk takes readers on another unforgettable journey. When three children discover a typewriter on a carousel, they are transported on an adventure of their own creation—complete with a giant beach ball and a threatening crab. Stunning, richly colored artwork is paired with limited text so children can tell their own version of the story.


Bill Thomson has been a favorite illustrator of mine since I first saw his book, Chalk.  Using a similar theme to his first two wordless books (Chalk and Fossil), Thomson still manages to create a unique book full of imagination and laughter.  I love these books, not only the gorgeous illustrations, but the creativity they demonstrate.  It's also great to see a typewriter  in a picture book considering how many children won't even know what a typewriter is.  And despite having read the previous books, this one still managed to surprise me.  I especially enjoyed the large pail of ice cream.  It's also a real pleasure to see the expressions on the child characters faces as well as the diversity among them (black girl, Asian boy, white boy).  A fun book to share with children to encourage their curiosity and imagination.


  1. Perfect timing for me! Our picture book study group is looking at wordless picture books next month and I haven't had any ideas of what to take. Thanks!


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