Tag: wordless books

robotdreamsI love this book. It’s very sad, but it’s also thoughtful, delightful, and real (even if it is about a dog and a robot). The kids love it.

Last year I did a unit on wordless books with 1st grade. This year in 2nd grade I wanted something quick to take us from all the library orientation we did in November into our next project in January (starting The Tale of Despereaux). This book was perfect for December. It takes about 1.5 library classes to read, and the kids were fully absorbed. It sparked an interest in other wordless books with some students.

Read more on This Month with 2nd Grade: Robot Dreams by Sara Varon…

Stories Without Words (the subject heading to use if you’re ever searching for them in a catalog) are great tools for emerging readers, reluctant readers, story times, and all kinds of programs. I love them because I’m a visual person, and sometimes the absence of words makes these books feel much more poignant to me. So this is the latest booklist I’ve made. The first couple of books are my absolute favorites, then I’ve added the complete booklist I compiled. The ones with an * link to whole posts I wrote about them.

The Adventures of Polo by Regis Faller (2006). This French book introduces us to Polo the dog, who steps out of his front door and embarks on a long journey where he flies, sails, climbs, and gets lots of help from new friends he meets along the way. It is whimsical and full of imagination, the kind of story kids will return to again and again. The illustrations are simple and gorgeous, and while I think it’s too long for a single lesson or program, it has a lot of potential for parent/child reading and maybe a unit on imagination and resourcefulness.

The Arrival by Shaun Tan (2006) is a work of art. This surreal and moving story of a man who immigrates to a foreign land to make a better life for his family is beautiful and strange. Shadows of dragon-tail like shapes haunt the home and family he leaves behind. Wondrous creatures, a language of symbols, and strange machines greet him in his new country, bringing the reader in to the feeling of isolation and frustration. He meets new friends and learns how to survive in this new place. This is not only a powerful story of immigration; it’s also a beautiful fantasy.

The Booklist

Read more on Wordless Books…

A lonely dog wants a friend, so he buys and builds a robot. This is the beginning of Sara Varon’s exceptional graphic novel Robot Dreams. The dog and the robot have great adventures together, but when they go to the beach one day the robot goes into the water and then rusts in the sun. Unable to move him from the beach, the dog leaves him there. Soon the dog regrets abandoning his friend, but when he returns to the beach it’s too late: it has been closed for the season. Months pass and the dog tries to make new friends, regretting his lost robot and unable to find the same friendship with others. The robot lies immobilized on the beach, daydreaming about what would have happened if he hadn’t gone swimming, if he was rescued, if he could dig down through the sand and free himself. The dog and the robot learn a lot about themselves and about friendship, and the ending is incredibly sad, hopeful, and happy all at the same time.

Read more on Robot Dreams by Sara Varon…