Looking at a painting or photograph, our curiosity drives us to find clues within the image that tell a story. Visual works have the power to evoke emotion and a strong sense of time and place; it's no wonder wordless picture books and graphic novels captivate children. Children can decipher illustrations to create or understand the story being told. Visit your Milwaukee Public Library and check out some of these visually compelling books.

Recommended by Milwaukee Public Library children's librarian Karli Pederson.

Hunters of the Great Forestby Dennis Nolan (Ages 3-7)

In this wordless picture book, a miniature band of hunters leaves their village to explore the wilder world, encountering creatures of all kinds, before returning home with a sweet find to share with everyone.

Floatby Daniel Miyares (Ages 3-8)

A boy ventures out in the rain with his newly made paper sailboat only to have it ruined by a swift current. When the boy returns home disappointed, his father helps create something new for future adventures.

Sidewalk Flowers

by JonArno Lawson; illustrated

by Sydney Smith (Ages 4-7)

A young girl gathers wild flowers as she walks with her distracted father through the city, then shares her bright blooms and kindness with creatures big and small.

The Typewriter

by Bill Thomson (Ages 4-9)

Three friends, a typewriter, and big imaginations create an adventure. Taking turns using the discovered typewriter, the friends use words to create a beach day adventure on an otherwise cold and dreary day.

Noodlehead Nightmaresby Tedd Arnold, Martha Hamilton, and Mitch Weiss; illustrated by Tedd Arnold (Ages 5-9)

This early reader comic book features three super silly adventures of two 'noodlehead' friends, Mac and Mac. Readers are sure to get a laugh from these two flappable noodles.

Written and Drawn by Henrietta:


by Liniers (Ages 7-9)

Receiving a new box of colored pencils, Henrietta is inspired to write her very own story. Told in comic book style, early readers may just be inspired to create a story of their own.

The Great Pet Escapeby Victoria

Jamieson (Ages 7-10)

Determined not to be penned up in a second grade classroom, hamster GW (a.k.a. George Washington), hatches an escape plan with his two friends while Harriet, the sinister fourth grade pet, attempts to thwart their plans.

Little Robot

by Ben Hatke (Ages 7-11)

A young girl discovers and repairs a broken robot, forming a fast friendship. When a larger robot is sent to retrieve the small robot, the young girl does everything she can to protect her new friend.

Unicorn vs. Goblins: Another Phoebe

and Her Unicorn Adventureby Dana

Simpson (Ages 8-12)

Phoebe and Marigold Heavenly Nostrils continue their adventures together in their third graphic novel. Their summer is filled with mysteries, summer camp, and plenty of mischief!

For more great book ideas,visit metroparentmagazine.com/books.

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