Raymond Briggs’ book The Snowman (originally published in 1978) is a beautiful example of a wordless picture book and is perfect for winter read aloud. After describing the characteristics of a wordless picture book, and showing the covers of several books in my collection, we read The Snowman, carefully looking at the illustrations, and discussing the images and actions in the book. As the video soundtrack of the book played, my students created their own multimedia snowman portrait.
Reading Rockets, a website I highly recommend, offers an informational handout for parents which explains the importance of wordless picture book on language development. In the handout, they remind parents that “sharing wordless books is a terrific way to build important literacy skills, including listening skills, vocabulary, comprehension — and an increased awareness of how stories are “built,” as the storyteller often uses a beginning, middle, end format. For a book with few words, you’ll be surprised at all the talking you will do, and all the fun you’ll have!” I think it is very important to provide handouts and other resources to parents so that they can see the important role the library program plays in their child’s language development.
- For more information about The Snowman, visit the official website here.
- The Snowman video (narrated by David Bowie, 1982)
- A great cross curricular lesson plan is here:
- Lists of top wordless picture books are here:
- Reading Rockets – Our Favorite Wordless Picture Books:
- Top Ten Wordless Picture Books (2013) – Nerdy Book Club
Have “snow” much fun reading! ~Melissa