Gift-Worthy Wordless Picture Books for All Ages: A Librarian’s Gift Idea


It’s almost gift-giving season (check out our extensive 2020 Holiday Gift Guide). Of course, as a librarian and huge bibliophile, my go-to gift is always books – easy to wrap, mail, and hide in the dresser or under the bed…  Last year, I wrote about big books as gifts. This year, I’m suggesting the wordless picture books for all ages. 

The thing about wordless picture books is that they stand the test of time. Each time you open the pages, readers retell the story in a fresh way with siblings, babysitters, cousins, grandparents. It is like a new story every single time. These book gift ideas truly are the gift that keep on giving!!! 

Timeless fun…

Hike by Pete Oswald - wordless books for all ages

Hike by Peter Oswald. A 2020 new release! The silent but powerful adventure of a father and child as they set out on an adventure and experience the joy of nature! This would be great for the outdoor enthusiasts in your life. Maybe even wrapped up with new outdoor gear!

Spot & Dot Book cover by Henry Cole - wordless picture booksSpot and Dot by Henry Cole. Perfect for the eye-spy fans in your home! Spot and Dot are hiding on each page- can you find them? The black and white detail on each page is mind-blowing! Henry Cole has been one of my favorite author/illustrators since I read his breathtaking picture book about the Underground Railroad, Unspoken. His books are some of my favorite book gift ideas. 

Journey by Aaron Becker. The Journey Trilogy will mesmerize adults as much as your littles. Magical and complex, it is a sibling adventure brimming with intrigue and wonder.   This is ideal for those who love to pour over detailed illustrations and older kids. Great as a whole family or sibling gift.

The Red Book by Barbara Lehman  I adore all of Barbara Lehman’s vibrant and imaginative work. The Caldecott Award winning Red books are just two of her masterpieces. Don’t miss this fun journeys of a book with in a book! Follow the pages through countries and continents- great for older kids who like to think outside the box!! 

Flotsam by David Wiesner. When a young child finds a camera on the beach, she gets the film developed and discovers underwater adventures through the eyes of the sea creatures!  Whimsical and humorous, your kids will love dreaming up what life under the sea is like!  Flotsam would be great wrapped with a membership to the Seacoast Science Center or to remind someone of their recent visit to the Seacoast!

Let It Snow!

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. Christmas is a time for classics! This gem was turned into a wordless animated short film and they are equally lovely! Magical, fun and less Christmasy than most, you’ll love the gentle illustrations and gentle souls of a boy and his snowman.  Told in graphic novel format, everyone will enjoy this one!

Red Sled by Lita Judge. This New Hampshire author/illustrator knows how to make a snow-day delight. When a young child goes in for the night, the woodland animals enjoy a wild ride on their sled! Young children giggle and cheer as the animals enjoy nature’s rollercoaster! Lita Judge’s bold and vibrant illustrations will pull you in!

Winter Visitors by Karel Hayes. What happens to your summer home when you leave for the winter? The Winter Visitors come to stay! This Squam Lake author has captured this fantasy perfectly in this charming goldilocks-esque story. One of my favorite book gift ideas for anyone with a second home or camp.

And a classic for everyone…

Tortoise and the Hare

The Tortoise and the Hare by Jerry Pinkney. I absolutely love Caldecott Award winner Jerry Pinkney’s illustrations. This classic Aesop fable is delightfully illustrated allowing adults and children alike to enjoy this story over and over. Don’t miss Pinkney’s other wordless picture books that are renditions of the classics. These would make amazing library-builders for a new family! 

Ask your Seacoast librarian or bookseller for more wordless picture books suggestions. This is a great opportunity to support local booksellers like G. Willikers! Water Street Books or RiverRun Bookstore. Many of them can order and ship anything they don’t have in stock making gift giving even easier!!