I’ve been continuing to read some of the Cybils-nominated fiction picture books with the kids, especially the younger two. I used to say I wasn’t a big fan of wordless picture books. But I’m realizing that’s not really true. I am a big fan when they are done well. And these two are done very well. The first is Flora and the Flamingo, a pink confection of a book by Molly Idle. It’s a quite simple concept. Flora is a little girl in a pink bathing suit and flippers. The flamingo is, well, a flamingo. They dance together, imitating each other’s poses. The lift the flap format adds to the fun of seeing what each will do next and although it’s simple, the characters exude joy and sweetness and make this one fun to read. The author began as an animator for DreamWorks and it shows in this book in the best way. You can easily envision the dance coming to life.
I think this new book by David Wiesner is my favorite of the Cybils fiction picture books I’ve read thus far. It may be a tough sell because as a wordless book, kids might think preschooler or babyish but it’s really more suited to older kids. Read almost more as a short graphic novel than as a picture book, Mr. Wuffles is anything but simple. Mr. Wuffles is a cat who spends his days staring under the furniture and ignoring the toys his owner tries to tempt him with. However, on closer look, we see that one of those toys is really a tiny spaceship. The aliens must leave the spaceship to attempt to repair it, only to encounter an under-radiator society of ants complete with primitive cave paintings. The two different cultures work together to outwit Mr. Wuffles and get the aliens back onto their spaceship and home. Remember this is a wordless book and the story is completely told through the illustrations. It’s nothing short of genius.
If you are reading along with the Cybils, consider joining in at Hope is the Word for the Armchair Cybils link up coming up soon.
Like these? Here are some other wordless picture books we’ve enjoyed.