On a beautiful, bright blue sky kind of day, a red bird and a bumblebee have a simple adventure that sees them traveling from point to point and perching in a variety of places. Craig Frazier’s Bee & Bird, though wordless in presentation, is a delightful book open to children’s individual storytelling.
Each two-page spread presents a different visual perspective, starting with an extreme close-up of Bee’s vivid yellow and black stripes. As the perspective pans out, readers soon get to see more of Bee and Bird’s surroundings, with each turn of the page opening up the view even more. Some illustrations might be initially tricky, giving children the opportunity to predict what will come next. Frazier’s digital illustrations pop off the page with their bold solid colors, tints of subtle shading and geometric exactness.
I’m of the opinion that wordless picture books are often overlooked by parents since they don’t lend themselves to a straightforward read aloud session. My personal experience, though, is nothing but positive. I enjoy talking with my kids about the illustrations and encouraging them to look closely at the pictures for clues to what is happening in the story. Even more exciting is to watch as they browse the book on their own. My five year old daughter is much more comfortable creating her own story with a wordless book than a traditional picture book with text, since she knows there’s no “wrong” way to read it. There is much value to this exploration and creative outlet, and I appreciate the power wordless books can have!
Bee & Bird will join our small collection of wordless picture books, and I highly recommend it for the preschool set.
Dawn will be reading picture books long after her youngest children move onto other literary pursuits, and she happily puts the focus on picture books every Friday on her blog, my thoughts exactly.