Children’s Book Giveaway: Wave.
July 06, 2010

I originally wanted to wait to feature this book until late summer, sometime after Donald and I had put Charlotte in her little ruffle-bottom swimsuit and taken her to the beach and snapped five billion photographs.

But do you see how battered this book is?  IT IS HELD TOGETHER BY SCOTCH TAPE.  (The photograph doesn’t do the state of the spine justice.)  A book that well-loved ought to be brought into the spotlight, don’t you think?  So there are no beach images to accompany this review, but I think that the state of our household’s copy of Wave, illustrated by the ridiculously talented Suzy Lee, probably speaks for itself.  Only the best-loved books need such extensive Scotch tape surgery.

Which is good because, GUESS WHAT, Wave is a picture book without any words.

Now, to be completely honest, I never thought that I would be a fan of wordless books.  When I first encountered a children’s picture book without words, I ranted about it for weeks.  How was a parent supposed to encourage reading WITHOUT WORDS?  Why would a person pay ten or fifteen dollars for a book of PICTURES?  It was pointless!  It was ridiculous!  It was frivolous!  Blah blah blah.

A couple years later, I had a baby.  And, well, let’s put it this way: I WAS WRONG.  It turns out that of all the books we have made available to her, our daughter likes the wordless ones the most.  She will happily spend twenty minutes in my lap, pointing at the images while I explain over and over what is happening.  Charlotte thumbs through Wave, an illustrated tale of a little girl’s day at the beach, once or twice a day, whether or not I put it in our reading pile.

So today, I am bringing Wave to your attention in the hopes that you might find it just as enjoyable as she does.  Suzy Lee’s illustrations are brilliant; I have never seen a better representation of water and the little girl’s body language is superbly expressive. 

The tale is easy to follow and the color scheme – blue, white, grey, and black – is lovely.  Best of all, the lack of words allows your imagination to run wild.  I must have created a hundred stories about the little girl and the beach already which, it turns out, is just what my little pre-reader loves most.  If I had to select a single word to describe this book, it would be “exquisite.”

Exquisite.  NOT A WORD I THROW AROUND LIGHTLY.

Borrow or Buy: BUY!

Reading tip:  Use your imagination.  Wordless books are a great way to engage a child who is not yet reading, who gets bored with hearing the same stories over and over, or who is not particularly interested in books.  There is no better way to put a child in charge of a book.  My daughter is too young to make up stories herself, so every time she points to something in the book, I make up a story for her.  It is a wonderful way for parents and young children to spend time together.

What to do: You can enter this giveaway by leaving a comment below or sending me an e-mail answering this question: what do you think about wordless books?  All you need is an e-mail address.  The giveaway ends Sunday evening at 9 P.M. Pacific Time and the winners will be announced next Tuesday morning.  You can leave one entry every day, for a total of up to six entries.

For extra entries: This is on the honor system, so please be honest.  I will award you one extra entry if you vote for me at Top Mommy Blogs by clicking here or at Top Baby Blogs by clicking here.  Each day you vote, I will award you two additional entries.  Don’t forget to let me know!  I am hoping to maintain or move into a spot in the top ten on both sites so that we can slowly begin to reach more parents about the joys and importance of reading with children.  If we inspire just ONE parent to read to their kid today, it’s worth a vote or two, don’t you think?

To purchase this book: You can buy Wave through Amazon.com (that link uses my affiliate code) or locate a local retailer through Indie Bound.org.

*** The winner of last week’s book giveaway (Mama Panya’s Pancakes written by Mary and Rich Chamberlin and illustrated by Julia Cairns) is Sarah.  Congratulations, Sarah!


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  1. By on July 06, 2010

    I have a new appreciation for wordless books after spending an afternoon with a two-year old who “read” a picture book to me.  She loved coming up with a convoluted story based on the images (and sometimes based on just her imagination).  It was great!

    (Voted on both sites as well!)

  2. By on July 06, 2010

    This book looks so beautiful! I can’t wait for my baby to be born so we can share reading.

  3. By Mallory on July 06, 2010

    I love picture books. I love how I can make up a story, and how everyone has a different reaction to each page.

  4. By on July 06, 2010

    I have yet to buy a wordless book for my 4 month old. He loves when I read to him but I think it would be really fun to create stories for him from a picture book!

  5. By Christy on July 06, 2010

    I haven’t seen many wordless books but I’m super intrigued with them now.

  6. By on July 06, 2010

    I enjoy picture books because they not only allow you to use your imagination and make up stories but they also allow you a platform to tell stories and experiences you’ve enjoyed! I’m expecting my first baby in the fall and am already reading to her in utero. I grew up on the beach and this book would allow me the perfect picture platform to share my beach experiences with my little girl!

  7. By Cynthia A on July 06, 2010

    I love wordless books, because then I make up a story of my very own!  Oh my I saw this book and totally wanted it :)  It is beautiful!! 

    Voted for you both places!

  8. By on July 06, 2010

    Your baby is exquisite!  She is such a doll - and you are such a great mother…it is quite evident from just reading your blog.  Charlotte is a lucky girl!

  9. By on July 06, 2010

    love them - i worked at a preschool and it really allows the kids to use their imaginations and creativity - and believe me, they all did and had quite different stories to go along with the picture books!

  10. By Heidi on July 06, 2010

    This IS an awesome book.  I have a copy that I used many, many times in my classroom but I’d love a germ free one for Molly.  :)  Picture books rock.  As an educator, I recognize the value of picture books - I love to have my students “read” the wordless books and make up a story that goes along.  They are all different, but wonderful!  Everyone has to remember that reading isn’t just about the words on the paper - reading is thinking.

  11. By on July 06, 2010

    I think wordless books are awesome. They get the creative juices flowing…infinite stories, expanded imagination. This book looks beautiful.

    And, of course I voted. :)

  12. By on July 06, 2010

    I love wordless books as long as the pictures are good enough to make the making up of a story good and from the few pictures you posted this one looks awesome.

  13. By Amber on July 06, 2010

    Our one (and only) wordless (well almost) book is Goodnight Gorilla. Dave bought it, and at first I was all “HOW BORING! NO WORDS!.“ But after “reading” it for the 20th time I started to appreciate it for exactly the same reason - I can make up any story I want. Short or long, silly or informative.

  14. By Patchy Patch on July 06, 2010

    I think wordless books are great - our imagination needs a workout too and wordless books are a perfect way to exercise it :) When they say a picture is worth a thousand words, I think they are on to something ;)

    This book looks lovely, thanks for the giveaway!

  15. By Patchy Patch on July 06, 2010

    oh and I just voted for your blog using the two links provided… :)

  16. By on July 06, 2010

    I think they are wonderful!  It’s a good reason to use your imagination!

  17. By on July 06, 2010

    I didn’t appreciate wordless books until my daughter got one for her birthday. Some of them have great illustrations. What a way to learn to appreciate art. And like you said, making up your own stories is a lot of fun.

  18. By Jennifer W. on July 06, 2010

    This is my first entry for the book giveaways but it sounded so intriguing I had to comment. I think this book sounds amazing!

  19. By on July 06, 2010

    This is beautifully illustrated. Kids would love narrating the story of the art…

  20. By on July 06, 2010

    Don’t have any wordless ones yet, but I certainly change/makeup the words to our other books because I get tired of the same old story.  Guess I need some new books!

  21. By on July 06, 2010

    I think I need to get me some wordless books.  My son LOVES to “read” but I think he just might love to make up some stories too.

    Voted at both blogs.

  22. By Lyndsey on July 06, 2010

    I haven’t seen many wordless books but looking at a book about the beach would be awesome and I am sure I would make up some fun stories for Ella

  23. By on July 07, 2010

    I love wordless books because they allow us to use our imagination and we get to make up a different story everytime we look at the book

  24. By on July 07, 2010

    Voted for you at Top Mommy Blogs :)

  25. By on July 07, 2010

    Voted for you at Top Baby Blogs :)

  26. By on July 07, 2010

    Entry #2, and 2 more votes.

    I am really looking forward to someday listening to the stories Jude will tell ME. The mere thought warms the cockles of my heart. :)

  27. By Bethany Hansen on July 07, 2010

    You know, I don’t think I have ever read a wordless book with my daughter. She’s five months old, and I can see how it would be a lot of fun, particularly as she gets old enough to narrate the pictures herself. I flipped through this book at the store the other day; it is so sweet!

  28. By Bethany Hansen on July 07, 2010

    I voted for you at both places!

  29. By Lyndsey on July 07, 2010

    I voted at both places

  30. By on July 07, 2010

    I love wordless books. As a former early childhood teacher they were perfect for preschoolers who couldn’t read yet and it gave them a chance to let their imaginations go wild when they made up their own stories.

  31. By on July 08, 2010

    Entry #3… :) And I voted in both places, of course.

    The more I look at it, the more I love this book.

  32. By Stephanie on July 08, 2010

    Wordless books allow a fresh read every time.  They allow us to entertain a child with words they can relate to.  A wordless book has no “reading level” and can be enjoyed by children of all ages…parents included.  They allow children to use their imaginations and react to the storybook pictures.  Wordless books are such fun!

  33. By on July 08, 2010

    When I first got a wordless book I put in the closet with the “bigger book” pile, tonight I think I will pull it out and read with my miss Katelyn, she turned 5 months today, we would love the wave book to add to our collection of many books - ps I just bought the recomendation for the Bloom book today..can’t wait to get it! 

    On another note I just want to thank you so much for your blog, I read it everyday and vote just as often…it truly makes my day at work better, while my little one is at daycare…

  34. By Lyndsey on July 08, 2010

    I voted both places for you today

  35. By Cynthia A on July 08, 2010

    Voted for you today!

  36. By Kevin Warhus on July 09, 2010

    Cute book! I think my kid would love it! Glad to see a book is so loved its falling apart.

  37. By Lyndsey on July 10, 2010

    I tried to leave a comment yesterday…so this is for yesterday (I voted)

  38. By Lyndsey on July 10, 2010

    and i voted today again

  39. By beyond on July 11, 2010

    wordless picture books (or photography books!) are great!

  40. By beyond on July 11, 2010

    ps: just voted for you!

  41. By Lyndsey on July 11, 2010

    I voted again for you!

  42. By Cynthia A on July 12, 2010

    voted :)

  43. By Preschool Long Beach on August 03, 2010

    Hi,
    Nice book.All the pictures are very beautiful.Well done.Children will really like this.


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