If a picture is worth a thousand words, it would take 560 of them to convey the entirety of War and Peace. While that might be a good option if you're short on time, you aren't going to get a good sense of the complexities and depth of Tolstoy's masterpiece in pictures alone.
Fortunately for the visual among us, text-laden volumes aren't the last word on good fiction. If Raymond Briggs had muddled up The Snowman with words it wouldn't be a beloved classic. A few picture-only books might have one or two words, but in general they rely on illustrations to communicate a complete story.
Why would I want to give my kids a book with no words? you may wonder. I want MY kids to READ.
Well, we want our kids to read, too. We also want them to enjoy books, and to have active imaginations fuelled with innocence, wonder and genuine creativity. There are many storybooks that can help us toward that end, but there's one thing a picture-only book can do that no amount of words piled on each other is capable of—it can force children to tell their own story.
Granted, the pictures convey all the basics. But having your kids narrate the events and emotions depicted is a great exercise for them and probably lots of fun for you when they start saying those ridiculous things children seem so adept at producing. There's even a good chance you'll go back to the book later, alone, and re-tell the story in your own words.
Good illustrations are magic. You won't find incantations in these books, but you will enough beauty and wonder to put "readers" of any age under their spell for a long time.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
Did you find this review helpful?