Wonder Bear – the story you can ‘read’ over and over

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Straight from bookshelves in the US come some special new releases to delight little bookworms.

Any child that has Wonder Bear by Tao Nyeu in their personal library is lucky. Not only will they have a book that is illustrated with superb drawings in beautifully contrasting warm yellows and cool blues, they will have a story that can be told a thousand different ways. Wonder Bear has no words. The illustrations tell the tale and, depending on the reader, the details, the dialogue and the ending can change every time the book is ‘read’.

Some people find ‘reading’ books without words to kids a challenge. After a long day and the usual dinner, bath and bedtime routine you may not be feeling very imaginative when you sit down to read a wordless story book. Yet these kinds of books can be liberating. Pick out the details that will interest your children, give the characters familiar names and make the story as long (or as short) as you like.

My other favourite ‘stories without words’ include The Red Book by Barbara Lehman, the beautifully photographed classic, Red Balloon, by Albert Lamorisse and Window by Australian artist Jeanie Baker.

For more books with illustrations to thrill (but with words for those bedtime story sessions when you need a reliable tale) have a look at the beautiful fable Tico and the Golden Wings by Leo Lionni and Little Blue and Little Yellow, the gentle story about two colours that become friends.

All titles are available from Fishpond.

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Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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