Wordless Picture Books

Sometimes the best way to inspire conversation is to take the words away. Wordless picture books are an excellent way to allow children to make their own interpretations. They encourage children to converse about what they see while keeping an open mind. Below are some of my favorite wordless picture books for all ages. Happy reading!

That Neighbor Kid by Daniel Miyares

A new boy moves in next door and the neighbor girl can’t help but be curious. This book captures a new friendship forming. The pictures are black and white, but color begins to slowly form along with the friendship. This is a beautiful lead in for conversations on friendship while also showcasing ways in which authors use color to portray emotions.

The Monkey Goes Bananas by C.P. Bloom

This book is one of my all time favorites!!!! It is not completely wordless, but has just enough words to help readers know where to draw their attention. This book will make all children laugh. The Monkey Goes Bananas is the perfect book to help young children learn to infer. They will be begging to read The Monkey and the Bee, so do yourself a favor and buy them both!

Float by Daniel Miyares

Follow along on this journey as a young boy builds a paper boat and takes it on an adventure. The illustrations are shown from different angles which lends itself to conversation about perspective. The illustrations are also great for discussion about feelings and facial expressions. This is a beautiful book for boys or girls!

Unspoken by Henry Cole

This beautifully illustrated story portrays many unspoken stories from the underground railroad. This little farm girl sees an eye peeking from the corn field. She silently cares for the unseen slave. You can see the turmoil in her eyes as she decides to keep the secret to herself. This story is perfect for older children (I’d recommend 8 and older).

Wave by Suzy Lee

This book is absolutely adorable! Watch as a young girl experiences a day at the beach. She starts off hesitant of the waves and then gains the courage to dip in a toe. Follow along and feel her hesitation turn to excitement. This book would be great for talking about overcoming your fears.

Chalk by Bill Thomson

This book is so fun! It follows three friends who discover a bag of magic sidewalk chalk. Every picture they draw comes to life. Such a beautiful example of imagination. Another excellent book for teaching facial expressions and problem solving.

Journey by Aaron Becker

This beautiful book follows a lonely girl who draws a door on her bedroom wall. She escapes to another world full of life and adventure. With her magic red pen in tow, she creates everything she needs while on her journey. This book is the first in a trilogy, so be sure to check out Quest and Return to view the rest of the story.

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

Have you ever had a backyard camp out? It’s cozy and warm in the tent, but don’t you wonder what is happening outside in the dark? Follow along as this little boy uses his flashlight to explore the dark. The flashlight illuminates whatever is in it’s path and is shown in color while the remaining picture is in dark tones. This book will encourage bravery and adventure.

I Walk with Vanessa by Kerascoet

This story deserves all the likes and heart emojis. Vanessa is new to her class and a bully immediately targets her. A sweet girl feels bad and stands up for her. Watch as the students ban together in her defense. The perfect story to discuss friendship, bullying, and kindness.

Favorite Psychological Thrillers

I never considered myself a reader of psychological thrillers until I read Gone Girl. That book was a game changer for me. I can officially say I am now hooked. I have listed my top 5 for you, but since this is one of my favorite genres stay tuned for future posts. Happy reading!

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

READ THIS BOOK! This is one of my favorites. I read a lot of psychological thrillers and am pretty good at uncovering the “truth” before it’s revealed. This one though… no words. Reading this book was like being on a roller-coaster ride. I would have it all figured out and then… BAM…. plot-twist. I finally gave up trying to figure things out on my own and made myself just keep reading.

Here’s a quick rundown. Anna lives alone in NYC. She drinks (a lot) and spends her days isolated inside her home watching the outside world from the window. A family moves in across the street and soon she sees something odd from the window. That’s all I can say without giving it away…. go read it!

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

This book follows an artist, Alicia, who is married to a high profile photographer. He arrives home from work one night and she kills him, but then refuses to speak. Will her psychotherapist be able to break through to her and uncover what happened? This one is truly a page turner!

The Whisper Man by Alex North

A father-son duo is looking for a fresh start after a tremendous loss. They are settling into a new life and beginning to get comfortable when a boy in the community disappears. Shortly after, the son Jake begins to hear whispers at night. Not many books truly scare me, but this one had me shaking in my boots. Not only is it a well-written psychological thriller, but it also showcases how far parents will go for their children.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

A group of neighborhood friends has a dinner party like they have hundreds of other times. However, this time something goes horribly wrong. Anne and Marco’s lives quickly begin to get turned upside spilling secrets, lies, and suspicions along the way.

The Ex: A Novel by Alafair Burke

Jack Harris is accused of killing three people at a football field. His daughter, Buckley, calls a high powered defense attorney who happens to be Jack’s ex-fiance. If anyone will believe his innocence it must be someone who knows Jack at his true core right? As the evidence stacks, doubt grows, and the story twists and turns.

Favorite Feel-Good Stories

The following books are some of my very favorites. You will fall in love with the characters and mourn them when the story ends. They are all beautifully written and worth sharing! Happy reading.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

If you have never read Kristin Hannah you will want to binge read all of her books once you finish this one! This book follows a Vietnam Vet and his family as they move to Alaska desperate for a new life. However, the weather and terrain do not improve his emotional and mental state. A survival story that will make you truly fall in love with the sweet daughter Leni.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Rill and her four younger siblings are river rats living aboard a rundown boat on the Mississippi River. When their father leaves to go to the hospital with their mother, the children are whisked away into an orphanage. The story flashes forward to current day in Aiken, South Carolina following a character named Avery. She returns home to care for her father and begins a journey to discover her true family history.

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

I admit that I am not usually a memoir reader, but I am so glad I pushed myself out of my comfort zone for this one. Tara tells her story in such a entrancing way it is almost impossible to put down. I laughed, I cried, I sat in pure disbelief. As a teacher, I was of course drawn to the fact that education changed her life. This is definitely worth the read.

The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton

Sara’s grandmother owns a B&B in a quaint small town. Sara owns a bustling antique store in New Orleans. When Sara discovers her grandmother has passed away she returns home to settle the estate. When she arrives she learns that her grandmother has willed her the task of fixing up the B&B. This is a beautiful story that will tug your heartstrings and make you smile.

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

Alice marries a handsome, wealthy man and moves from England to Kentucky to be his bride. Feeling outcast and bored, she volunteers to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library initiative. This story follows the journey of three women and the men they love. It’s based on a true story. This book empowers women and shows the lengths we will go to protect those we love.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Ove is one of my favorite characters! He is grouchy, antisocial, just an overall sourpuss. His neighbors call him the “bitter neighbor from hell.” A new family moves into the neighborhood with two small girls. One accident leads to more interactions and eventually you learn Ove’s true story. Read this book and you too will fall in love with Ove.

If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss

Set in Appalachia, Sadie marries a man mean as a rattle snake and quickly realizes she made a mistake. This southern fiction stories is stocked full of colorful characters who will keep you on your toes. Will Sadie be able to find her way out of her situation?

Books for Girls

Two years ago today, I became Aunt Kate to the most precious bundle of joy.  My sweet niece Andy is full of personality! My sister and I talk about how important it is that we allow her to be herself. We don’t want societal pressures to hold her back, or limit her in what she can, and cannot do. We want her to be comfortable and confident in her own skin. 

Naturally, I began searching for books that would empower her to be herself.  I wanted to find books that celebrated girls for qualities other than their looks and clothing.  Below you will find some of my favorites. Happy reading!

1. Beautiful by Stacy McAnulty

This is one of my absolute favorites for little girls! The text is simple which makes it great for any age. The pictures showcase girls who are covered in dirt, paint, and more. This book gives permission for girls to be their own kind of beautiful.

2. Dear Girl by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Dear girl is a must for little girls you love.  It’s a sweet letter showcasing how important she is in the world.  It’s the perfect book to gift for important life events (showers, graduation, birthdays).  

3. Go, Girls, Go! by Frances Gilbert

This book shows that girls can be anything they want to be when they grow up!  It showcases female pilots, construction workers, etc. The text is simple and the illustrations are bright making it perfect for even the smallest girls. 

4. She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton

This book showcases 13 women who have impacted the world in some way.  Each woman’s story is brief which makes it an easy read. This book is guaranteed to empower girls to speak up and fight for what they believe is right.   

5. Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malalaa Yousafzai

If you have not heard Malala’s story, now is the time!  Malala grew up in Pakistan and wanted nothing more than to attend school.  When girls are no longer allowed to attend school, she finds magic in the form of a pencil and uses her words to activate change.

6. I Am Enough by Grace Byers

This book is written in a beautiful lyrical format.  It empowers young girls to love who they are as well as respect who others are.  This is a fun book to read aloud and allows for great conversation!

7. Think Big, Little One by Vashti Harrison

This board book is perfect for small hands!  Each page features a woman who has impacted our world in some way.  The simplicity of the text is great for early learners but also allows for further research and discussion with other children.

8. Girls Can Do Anything by Caryl Hart

This beautiful book showcases all the different things girls can do. The pictures are bright and diverse. This rhyming text will engage readers of all ages!

9. Doll-E 1.0 by Shanda McCloskey

Charlotte and her adorable dog love to create. This book spotlights a little girl who knows all about technology. It’s the perfect STEM book for little girls.

10. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell

Molly Lou Melon is one of my favorite characters! She fearlessly stands up for herself and doesn’t let anything slow her down.

Hello Friends!

Photo by Erica Carter (She’s AMAZING! Follow her on IG @ericacarterstudio)

Hey y’all! My name is Katie Roush and I’m the book-loving girl behind this blog. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s Degree in Language and Literacy. After 5 years in the classroom, I now work alongside our building’s amazing teachers as the Reading Coach in the same Title I School where I started my career.

I met my husband more than a decade ago and since then he has been the perfect partner for me!  We have an almost three year old son named Guy. We are water lovers and spend most weekends at the lake sailing or swimming.

Why did I decide to start a blog about books?

  • As a Reading Coach, I talk about books all day long. It’s truly the perfect job for me!
  • I LOVE to teach children to read. Since stepping out of the classroom I have felt a deep void that I have filled by becoming our school’s “book dealer.” I am constantly sharing personalized book recommendations for students and teachers.
  • Confession: I have not always loved to read. I found a love a reading once I became a teacher. Seeing the excitement on my student’s faces when they heard a story they loved inspired me to do the same for myself.
  • I don’t believe anyone doesn’t like to read, I believe they haven’t found the right book yet.

Books are amazing. They give us the opportunity to travel to places we may never visit, experience cultures we may never meet, and live through time periods we cannot reach. As your resident book matchmaker, I hope to help you find your soulmate – a book that will light a fire of inspiration under you.

Random Facts About ME:

  • I am an older sister. Jordan is 15-months younger than me and is my absolute world! You will probably hear me talk about her a lot. She is a huge inspiration to me!
  • I believe polka dots are a neutral.
  • I’m obsessed with true crime. It definitely causes me anxiety, but I’m addicted… help!
  • I have a weakness for reality TV.
  • I am a total nerd (#LifeLongLearner!) and pretty much exclusively listen to podcasts.
  • My sister has inspired me to sew more (mostly baby quilts and tote bags). I hope to be half as good as she is one day.

I am so happy you found my little slice of the internet. Grab a warm cup of coffee (or tea!), slide on your favorite cozy slippers, and let’s find your next great read!

Let’s stay in touch! Follow my journey by subscribing to this blog and following along on Instagram.