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The Wonderful World Of Wordless Books


We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry an accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are still innocent and shy as magnolias..” – Maya Angelou.

We definitely think so. You would probably agree too if you had sauntered into Champaca during Storytime, our monthly storytelling session. Ever since we started storytime at Champaca, we have often found adults and parents in rapt attention, loving and listening to the story being told, sometimes more than their own children. It makes us wonder if we are all still children deep down, or if it's the power of story that truly has a grip on us. It's perhaps both.

StoryTime will be back this coming Sunday, the 5th of Feb, with Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers. Adults and children are welcome!

The Wonderful World of Wordless Books

Children are often surprised when they encounter a wordless book. “How can a book not have words, it has only pictures!” they say. But wordless books can help children enjoy stories too. 

How to “read” a  wordless picture book?

  • Go for a picture walk-  In the absence of words, wordless books often have gorgeous illustrations that are filled with details. Taking a picture walk makes for an enriching sensory experience, going through the book panel by panel, and absorbing the intricate details and colours. 
  • Build a story- Wordless books allow a child to build a story on their own. They can make predictions on how it will unfold. 
  • Read the story in different ways- The lack of words in a book helps the child to form their own narrative and sometimes construct a different story every time they pick up the book.
  • Narration and questions- Wordless books can help a child narrate the story using their own words. Questions such as “ what is happening here”, “who is this?” and “what's going to happen next?” can help engage the child as well.
  • An interactive experience- Wordless books can spur a child’s creativity. Children can pick a page from the book and write their own story, they can also draw speech bubbles and fill them in.

Some of our favourite wordless books from the Champaca Children’s Library.

A slice from History… Prison Libraries.

Malcolm X(1925-65) was a human rights activist and one of the most influential Black leaders in the US. When he was 21, he was sentenced to ten years in prison for burglary. He borrowed a dictionary from the prison library and painstakingly improved his reading. As he became better at it, he started reading extensively. He read the works of historians, philosophers, and scientists and developed the ideas that would later make him one of the most powerful voices in the black community. He later said, “I knew right there in my prison that reading changed forever the course of my life.”



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