Telling Stories Without Words, “Spot, the Cat”, and “Fish”!

I found two picture books that I really like. And the funny thing is, they are both wordless and both use a limited color palette.


First up is SPOT, THE CAT, by Henry Cole.

This book has utterly delightful, very detailed, black and white line illustrations with all the charm and character of Edward Gorey and Maurice Sendak.


Spot, the cat goes missing and we follow him (try to anyway) through busy parks, squares, buildings, and marketplaces.


The neat twist is that his boy goes off in search of Spot himself. So, as the reader, we are witnessing both sides of the story.


A clever bit of wordplay in the title. Kids (heck I did, too!) will have so much fun staring at all the details in the hopes of spying Spot!

Next up is FISH, by Liam Francis Walsh.

The aqua, black, white, and red color palette gives these graphic illustrations a real nostalgic charm.


We see a boy and his dog get in a boat to go fishing. But what they are fishing for and catching are letters.


However, some of the letters are enormous, and scary, and a bit aggressive.


With a great deal of effort the two catch the word ‘fish’.

But was that really what they were fishing for?

Ha! A really clever surprise twist ending made me cheer!

I’d recommend both these books for some fun, beautiful, animated wordless picture book inspiration!

Thank you!


Jennifer Black Reinhardt

Jennifer is the illustrator and author of several acclaimed picture books. Most recently is Always by My Side, 'A Stuffie Story', which she wrote and illustrated. She also is both the author and illustrator of Playing Possum, and Blue Ethel. Jennifer illustrated Gondra’s Treasure, written by Newbery award winner Linda Sue Park. As well as, Sometimes You Fly, by Newbery medalist, Katherine Applegate. She illustrated Yaks Yak, Animal Word Pairs by Linda Sue Park, The Inventor's Secret, What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford, by Suzanne Slade, Rabbi Benjamin's Buttons, by Alice B. McGinty, and The Adventures of a South Pole Pig, by Chris Kurtz.


  1. What beautiful illustrations! Thanks for sharing these titles!

  2. I just read SPOT yesterday. It’s a lovely book. So fun to get lost in those pictures. Now i need to look for FISH.

  3. Both look so cool!! Especially curious about the twist ending in Fish. I’ll be searching for both of them to add to my collection. Thanks!

  4. Thanks for sharing, Jennifer!! I’ll definitely check these out!

  5. Both of those books look fabulous! Thanks for sharing these with us!

  6. I plan to ‘write’ a wordless book someday. I need to get these two books to study.

  7. Such detail in SPOT THE CAT! And the illustrations in FISH remind me of Timbertoes from Highlights for Children.

  8. Always fascinated by the storytelling in wordless books. These look like two beauties!

  9. I loved both of these books!! Fun for adults and kids.

  10. Both of these would be so fun! Going to have to put them on my list… Thanks, Jennifer!

  11. I have to share my 4 yo grandson’s comment on SPOT, THE CAT when we opened the book: “Grandma, the librarians forgot to color the pictures!” He was okay with it once I explained that was how they were supposed to be. The wordless part was no problem.

  12. I can’t wait to look at Spot, the Cat. Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

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