Are you looking for a way to get your youngster to talk more and retell stories?  Motivating children to retell stories can be difficult. However, picture books without text are a perfect way to tell the story in their own words. You may need to model this and tell the story initially, but that may be all they need to retell it in their own words.  Wordless books are a marvelous way to help youngsters sequence events and draw nuances and conclusions in their own words. This helps memory, vocabulary and confidence. The first four books are wordless, and the rest are outstanding nonfiction picture books. All of these books are good for all ages.

The Farmer and the Monkey, by Marla Frazee, is a most captivating book rich with personality. This second book, in a planned three wordless book series, continues right where the first book, The Farmer and the Clown, left off.  As the farmer sadly says goodbye to his little clown friend as the clown jumps back onto the circus train, he forlornly walks back to his house.  However, he doesn’t see that a circus monkey jumped off the train and is following him back to his house.  What takes place with this mischievous monkey, and the antics the farmer deals with, will bring laughter all the way through the book. The delightful art, done with dark Primsma pencils and gouache, creates a story begging to be retold again and again!  The third and final book, The Farmer and the Circus, comes out very soon.

Zero Local, Next Stop: Kindness, by Ethan and Vita Murrow, showcases how a little thoughtfulness can go a long way.  As passengers get on the Zero Local train, the stress of a delay is evident on glum faces.  But a newcomer gets on the train and shows a little kindness by being friendly to others and making a thank you card she gives to the conductor as she gets off.  When she doesn’t show up one day, the passengers seem to drift back into impatience.  But a little girl carries on the kindness in her own way and it spreads throughout.  The full open-page graphite illustrations are amazing and were derived from photos made in a studio with photographers, actors and handmade sets.  Be sure to check out the luminous end-pages!

Hike, by Pete Oswald, is a wondrous activity celebrating the beauty of nature in its truest forms.  But this story takes on much more as a father, who looks hesitant, takes his young son to the mountains.  All that they share through their hike becomes exhilarating.  But more than just the hike, father and son have made a deep connection.  The colorful illustrations are almost enough to motivate anyone to go outside and enjoy nature.  Also, the cover is very clever!

One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey, by Henry Cole, is a story that begins in the 1960’s and ends in the current day.  There are many facets to glean from the storyline.  The illustrator perfectly illustrates the importance of recycling and utilizes the theme of a paper sack that carries a child’s lunch and is taped and fixed to continue the use.  The paper bag is highlighted throughout this highly detailed picture book with the trademark brown color.  The rest of these brilliant illustrations are muted with pencil etching. The other theme here is of love of family and traditions.

The Pop-Up Guide: Space, by Sophie Dussaussois, and brightly and uniquely illustrated by Charlie Picard, is a ten-page pop-up book that progresses from stars to space travel.  The spread featuring the solar system showcases planets according to their size by popping out.  The text is limited with the label illustrations making for easy reading and quick learning.

Sound: Shhh…Bang…Pop…BOOM!, by Romana Romanyshyn, and brightly illustrated by Android Lesiv, brightly illuminates sound so that you almost feel the vibrations bouncing off the page.  The colors seem to illuminate, and the brief information found on every page will teach even the most learned aficionado.  The end-pages are astute, and you will find a list of interesting items to listen to at the back of the book.  There is also Sight: glimmer, glow, SPARK, FLASH! with the same brilliance bouncing off every page by the same author and illustrator.

The Body Book, illustrated by Hannah Alice, is a wonderful and quick way to see and learn about what’s inside our bodies.  The cover features an acetate body to view blood and organs.  Each board page features a part of the body along with the acetate body that helps showcase where the body parts fit inside.  The systems featured on each page include muscles, skeletal and respiratory systems.  This is an outstanding book that kids will enjoy learning from.

Crossings: Extraordinary Structures for Extraordinary Animals, by Katy S. Duffield and Mike Orodan, presents how we have solved a serious problem for animals.  By building roads and structures, animals are impeded from migrating or crossing to another location.  Now, there are overpasses and underpasses being built to help animals cross without endangering their lives. The text is brief, but informative, with more information about the purpose of the crossings in different locations throughout the world. This is an important book showcasing resolutions to difficult animal crossings around the world.