Last year offered up a host of fantabulous wordless picture books, including five of our 2014 Best Books for Young Readers. This year as we narrow down our list of our 2015 favorites, we are seeing a similar number of strong wordless contenders. Here are three worthy 2015 titles you should check out:
Float by Daniel Miyares
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Audience: Preschool–Grade 3
For me this year, there have been 2 or 3 picture books that have blown me away. Float is one of them. Reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats’s The Snowy Day, the story follows a young boy who goes out in the rain to play with his paper boat and finds more adventure than he expects. It’s a story of exploring, of the excitement and awe found in quiet moments, and—perhaps most touchingly—of the everyday bond between a father and his son. And that’s just the story—the digital art used to tell that story is mostly soft grays with the added punch of the boy’s yellow rain slicker. Subtle detailing, plays on perspective, and wonderfully rendered emotions make for spreads worth savoring. And then there’s that little twist at the end, perfectly flipping the color palette and (hopefully) setting us up for a new story. In my opinion, this book has the makings of a classic—and I’m pulling for a Caldecott nod.
The Boy & the Book by David Michael Slater and illustrated by Bob Kolar
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Audience: Ages 2–5
When a rambunctious young boy runs riot in the library, the library books must evade his wake of destruction. With a healthy dollop of humor, this book provides a not-so-subtle lesson in how to treat (or how not to treat) books and a more unexpected lesson in compassion and second (or even third) chances. The digital artwork is vivid and energetic, and the simplified figure of the boy allows for the books’ panicked expressions to shine.
Pool by Jihyeon Lee
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Audience: Preschool–Grade 2
Recalling the magical world explored in Aaron Becker’s Journey books, this Korean import features a shy young boy overwhelmed at a crowded public pool. After finally finding the courage to jump in, he discovers a magical underwater land removed from the chaos above and begins an unexpected friendship. The tall, oversized format allows for the pool’s depth to be better felt as the boy encounters fanciful fish and other strange sea creatures, some of them a little scary with their mouths of needle-like teeth. And yet the previously timid boy and his newfound friend appear unphased, leading readers to suspect that together the children have discovered something far deeper than the underwater land. For me, Pool doesn’t quite live up to the magical adventure of Journey and Quest, but I think it offers a quiet charm and unique appeal all its own.
Source: Book News and Reviews