These picture books feature characters who find ways to communicate with older relatives or with each other, even when they don’t share a common language.

Have you ever played Pictionary? How about charades? The general premise of these games is that you have to convey information nonverbally to your partner(s) so they can say a specific phrase or the name of something. While many people enjoy improvisational games such as these, if you were suddenly forced to communicate all of your needs and wants this way, all day, every day, it would be limiting and frankly exhausting.

The games above suggest two strategies for compensating for a language barrier: drawing and gesturing. For most adults, a sudden language barrier would be inconvenient but manageable; for a young child entering a new classroom where they don’t know the primary classroom language, a language barrier can make the school day experience seem overwhelming, frustrating, and interminable.

Fortunately, there are picture books available that feature the theme of language barriers. Perhaps more important, they also suggest nonverbal language “bridging” activities for young children to consider. Activities such as drawing, dancing, cooking, and building a snowman are some of the collaborative activities featured in the 12 books below.

Reading the picture books below allows young children, regardless of their primary language, to see, listen, and consider the activities in each book and formulate their own nonverbal communication strategies to add to their ever-growing relationship-building tool kit to benefit each child in a classroom.


Amy Wu and the Warm Welcome, by Kat Zhang, illustrated by Charlene Chua. Lin is a new student in Amy Wu’s class who doesn’t speak English. Amy uses her powers of observation and creativity to formulate assorted school and home plans to make Lin feel included and welcome. Author Kat Zhang reads her book in this video. Corresponding teacher resources are available on the publisher’s website and featured at the end of the book. (Preschool–grade 3)

Drawn Together, by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat. A grandchild and grandfather speak different languages but soon discover that they have a special way of communicating through their mutual love of drawing. A corresponding Reading Guide is available on the Reading Is Fundamental website. Author Minh Lê reads his book in this video, and illustrator Dan Santat shares his inspiration and technique here. (Preschool–kindergarten)

Gibberish, by Young Vo. Dat is a young boy who has recently undertaken a big voyage to move away from one home and arrive at another, where everything is different. He finds it especially challenging to navigate his way through a school day attempting to understand a language that sounds to him like “gibberish.” Author-illustrator Young Vo shares the inspiration for his book in this video. (Preschool–grade 3)

Luli and the Language of Tea, by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Hyewon Yum. While their parents attend an English class, a group of young children gather to play in a playroom next door. A young girl named Luli addresses the problem of uniting this group of children who each speak a different language by hosting a celebratory tea party in the playroom. A corresponding educator’s guide is available on the publisher’s website. (Preschool–grade 2)

Mariana and Her Familia, by Mónica Mancillas, illustrated by Erika Meza. Mariana and her mother drive to Abuelita’s for a family reunion. Mariana is anxious because she doesn’t speak Spanish and she doesn’t know these family members. Abuelita and Mariana ultimately lovingly communicate via looking at picture books, cooking, and sharing hugs. There are corresponding student activities on Mónica Mancillas’s website, and the author introduces her book in this video. (Preschool–grade 3)

Mustafa, by Marie-Louise Gay. Mustafa has recently moved from far away to a place where he now searches for what is familiar. While playing in the park, he meets a girl named Maria. Although their languages are different, they manage to communicate through the outdoor activities that they can do together in the park. A corresponding teacher’s guide is available on the publisher’s website. Author-illustrator Marie-Louise Gay reads her book here. (Kindergarten–grade 3)

My Words Flew Away Like Birds, by Debora Pearson, illustrated by Shrija Jain. A young girl reflects on the comforts of her familiar old home and the challenges of her new home. Will she ultimately find something that feels familiar in this new place? Yes! Ultimately it’s making a friend that helps the little girl feel at home. (Preschool–grade 3)

Next Door, by Deborah Kerbel, illustrated by Isaac Liang. This wordless picture book features two young children who become new neighbors. One child speaks only Arabic and the other child communicates using American Sign Language. They use gestures, drawing, and sharing food to communicate and ultimately initiate a friendship. (Preschool–grade 2)

Quiet Time With My Seeya, by Dinalie Dabarera. A little girl and her grandfather may speak different languages, but they communicate perfectly through activities such as playing dress-up, cooking, and going on nature walks. (Preschool–grade 1)

A Thousand White Butterflies, by Jessica Betancourt-Perez and Karen Lynn Williams, illustrated by Gina Maldonado. A little girl in the United States looks out her window on a winter day and sadly thinks about her father and friends in Colombia. She will be starting school in January, but what she anticipates will be her first day of school in America winds up being her first snow day. She is initially disappointed but then plays in the snow with a neighbor, who coincidentally is also a future classmate. A corresponding Teacher’s Guide is available on coauthor Karen Lynn Williams’s website. (Kindergarten–grade 3)

We Laugh Alike/Juntos nos reímos, by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez. This book features two groups of children with two languages to navigate on one playground. All of the children soon discover that their similarities transcend their differences as they identify and learn games, songs, and dances that unite them in play. (Kindergarten–grade 3)

Words to Make a Friend: A Story in Japanese and English, by Donna Jo Napoli, illustrated by Naoko Stoop. Two little girls meet on a snowy day to exchange banter in English and Japanese, and together they build one monstrous snow creature. (Preschool–grade 3)

Empowering Kids Through Storybooks
Empowering Kids Through Storybooks

Empowering Kids Through Storybooks

Empowering Kids Through Storybooks

Empowering Kids Through Storybooks

A life .


Empowering Kids Through Storybooks

Empowering Kids Through Storybooks

Empowering Kids Through Storybooks

The”The Truth About Reading” is a powerful documentary that sheds light on the heart-wrenching reality of illiteracy in America. It highlights the pervasive struggles individuals face in reading and addresses the challenges within educational institutions. Shocking statistics reveal the alarming rates of functional illiteracy among adults and the high school dropout rate. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on literacy issues is emphasized.

The World Literacy Foundation and USA Reads are proactive organizations working to combat illiteracy. The “Read for Wellness” initiative by USA Reads provides crucial literacy support to children facing adversities, including those in hospitals, foster care, and resettling from displacement. Recognizing the transformative power of books, the program aims to enhance emotional well-being and equip children with the tools needed to thrive academically and personally, ensuring they can flourish despite their circumstances. These efforts underscore the importance of improving literacy rates and facilitating access to educational resources for a brighter future.

The Heartfelt and Captivating World of Colleen Hoover”

In the world of contemporary fiction, there are authors who touch the hearts of their readers, and then there’s Colleen Hoover, a literary sensation known for her ability to evoke powerful emotions with every turn of the page. If you’re a fan of love stories that delve deep into human emotions and relationships, you’ve likely come across the name Colleen Hoover. In this blog post, we’ll explore the works of this talented author, including her best-known novel, “It Ends with Us,” and her impressive bibliography.

Colleen Hoover is an American author hailing from Sulphur Springs, Texas. Her writing career took off in 2012 with the publication of her debut novel, “Slammed.” Since then, she has amassed a devoted following of readers who can’t get enough of her unique storytelling style. Colleen’s writing often explores themes of love, resilience, personal growth, and the complexity of human relationships. Her ability to create relatable characters and emotionally charged narratives has cemented her place as a beloved author in the contemporary romance and young adult genres.

One of Colleen Hoover’s most celebrated works is “It Ends with Us.” This novel, published in 2016, tells the compelling story of Lily Bloom, a young woman who finds herself entangled in a complex and sometimes painful relationship. Hoover’s storytelling prowess shines in this emotionally charged narrative, which delves into love, strength, and the complexity of human choices. “It Ends with Us” is a gripping and thought-provoking read, receiving widespread critical acclaim for its heartfelt exploration of challenging subjects.

In the digital age, finding the next great book to read has become easier and more enjoyable than ever, thanks to platforms like Goodreads. Goodreads is a widely popular website dedicated to helping readers discover, review, and discuss books of all genres. With its extensive database, user-generated content, and diverse community, it has become a go-to resource for book enthusiasts seeking recommendations and connections with fellow readers.

Goodreads, founded in 2007 and later acquired by Amazon, has grown into a thriving community of over 90 million registered users. The website serves as a comprehensive platform for book lovers to organize their reading lists, rate and review books they’ve read, and discover new titles based on their interests. Here’s a glimpse of what makes Goodreads an indispensable tool for readers

Best Books of All Time: A Treasure Trove of Recommendations: One of the most compelling aspects of Goodreads is its ability to help readers discover the best books of all time. Whether you’re seeking timeless classics or contemporary masterpieces, you can explore user-generated lists, reviews, and ratings to identify the cream of the literary crop. The “Best Books of All Time” lists on Goodreads are curated based on user input, and they cover a vast range of genres and themes. These lists are a valuable resource for anyone looking to embark on a literary journey through some of the greatest works in history.

Goodreads is more than just a website; it’s a dynamic community where readers connect over their shared love of books. It’s a place where you can join reading groups or book clubs, discuss your favorite novels, and participate in themed reading challenges. The platform fosters a sense of belonging and shared enthusiasm for the written word.

So, if you’re in search of your next literary adventure, a place to connect with fellow bookworms, or a way to organize your reading life, Goodreads is the ultimate destination. Dive into this online haven for bibliophiles, discover new titles, and engage in conversations that celebrate the world of literature. Goodreads is, without a doubt, an indispensable resource for anyone passionate about the written word and the quest for the perfect book.