Picture Books about Communication and Listening
These picture books about communication emphasise effective communication techniques to avoid misunderstanding and build trust.
Why Use Picture Books about Communication in the Classroom?
The IB learner profile states good communicators “understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.”
These picture books about communication illustrate the benefits of being an effective communicator. This includes:
- becoming an effective listener and collaborator
- avoiding misunderstandings and conflicts
- building trust and healthy relationships
- providing clarity and understanding
- increasing problem-solving skills
- increasing self-esteem and reducing behavioural issues
- increasing understanding of expression through non-verbal communication
- getting things they need
Communication in the Classroom
Effective communication avoids misunderstandings, builds trust and healthy relationships. The two sides of effective communication in the classroom involve sharing opinions and listening to the ideas of others. Non-verbal communication, what you don’t say, is as important as what you say.
Communication is not only important for getting our thoughts across. It is about listening carefully to others and responding appropriately. In the classroom, we want to prevent gossiping, teasing, bragging, and an aggressive tone. Communication with kindness and sensitivity shows what you are saying is important.
These picture books about communication highlight different communication methods. You will find characters:
- clearly expresses their ideas, opinions and emotions to others
- being an effective listener, communicator, and collaborator
- listening attentively and responding appropriately
- asks questions and listens to the response
- speaks honestly instead of teasing and boasting
- works collaboratively and effectively with others
- selects appropriate and different communication styles, including non-verbal communication
You will also find characters who are ineffective communicators. They may use negative methods, which leads to:
- misunderstanding and inaccurate messages
- confused statements leading to hurt feelings
- causes mistrust and conflict
- a lack of enthusiasm and conviction of what they are saying
- interrupts and lacks clarity in how they communicate
- narrow-minded and talks over others
Questions to Use With Picture Books about Communication
- What does it mean to be an effective communicator?
- What are different ways to communicate?
- Describe how [character] was an effective communicator?
- Why is being a good listener important to being a good communicator?
- How did being an effective communicator make [character’s] situation better?
- What were the consequences of [character’s] poor communication skills?
- Why was it important for [character] to consider other perspectives?
- In what ways could [character] be a more effective communicator?
- What strategies could [character] try to better communicate?
- What strategies does [character] use to be an effective communicator?
FREE Communicator Graphic Organizers
Would you like some FREE Learner Profile graphic organisers?
The resource includes a graphic organizer for each learner profile. Fill in the form below to get access to the FREE pack.
You can find the FULL COMMUNICATOR resource pack by clicking on the image.
If you already have access to the free resource library, you will find the freebie in the Learner Profile section.
Picture Books about Communication and Listening
The Big Bed by Bunmi Laditan
Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
Farmer Brown’s cows type him a letter demanding electric blankets. They go on strike when he refuses their demands. Duck takes an ultimatum from Farmer Brown to the cows and they agree to exchange the typewriter for the blankets. But, the next day Farmer Brown gets a note from the ducks demanding a diving board for their pond!
The Day Saida Arrived by Susana Gómez Redondo
A girl befriends a new girl, Saida, who she thinks has lost her words because of her silence. She learns Saida speaks Arabic and has moved from her home in Morocco. They share their languages and learn about each other’s culture which helps Saida feel welcome in her new home.
Dear Primo by Duncan Tonatiuh
Two cousins, one in America and one in Mexico write to each other. We learn about the differences in their lives, but also how alike they are.
This book reinforces themes of letter writing, family and communication.
Drawn Together by Minh Lê
A young boy and his grandfather lack a common language and struggle to communicate, leading to confusing, frustrating and silent meetings. When they discover their love of art they communicate with each other through art rather than words.
Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis
Insects surround a new, green shoot and ask “Du iz tak?” They use a ‘ribble’ to climb the stalk and build homes on its branches. The shoot grows into a beautiful flower, but as the seasons change it wilts and the insects say goodbye to their home.
Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The Garden of Inside-Outside by Chiara Mezzalama
In 1981, Chiara moved to Tehran to be with her father, the Italian ambassador to Iran. She discovers a neglected, walled garden that seemed a world away from the war going on in the city. A boy, Massoud, climbs over the wall and drops into the garden. They make friends, despite their lack of a common language, and Chiara’s life changes.
hello! hello! by Matthew Cordell
Lucy and her family communicate through their electronic devices. When she ventures outside, Lucy finds a whole new world and shares her discoveries with her family. Soon they are saying goodbye to their gadgets and hello to the world.
Kamishibai Man by Allen Say
The Kamishibai man is a storyteller who sells candy, but over the years fewer children came to listen. Many years later he makes one more batch of candy and decides to tell his own story. He is delighted to be surrounded by familiar faces, all grown up, who come to listen.
Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk
Sam lives in a hole in a library wall. The creative mouse creates his own book and adds it to the library shelves. When children visit the library they discover Sam’s books and all want to meet the mystery author.
Little Beauty by Anthony Browne
A lonely gorilla learns sign language to communicate with his zookeepers. They bring him a tiny cat called Beauty and the two become inseparable. When the gorilla gets angry, his keepers threaten to separate the pair, until the kitten steps into the keep them together.
Mango Abuela and Me by Meg Medina
Mia’s Abuela comes to live with her family but she is sad about leaving her sunny, colourful home. Though they speak a different language they learn to communicate and develop a touching relationship.
Marianthe's Story: Painted Words by Aliki
My Name is Yoon by Helen Recorvits
Yoon tries to settle into her new home in America after leaving South Korea. Her name means ‘Shining wisdom’ and she loves the way it looks written in Korean. She doesn’t like how it looks when written in English. She wonders if she should change her name to help her fit in.
Phileas's Fortune by Agnes de Lestrade
Large factories churn out beautiful, ugly and funny words. People purchase, then swallow the words to communicate. Not all words are equal and the cost of each word varies. Phileas catches three discarded, random words to express his love for Cybele.
The Quiet Place by Sarah Stewart
After moving to America, Isabel describes her new life in letters to her aunt. She writes about her new school, seeing snow for the first time and her difficulties learning English. She describes her “quiet place’, a space that comforts her as she gradually adjusts to her new life.
Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young
Six blind mice feel different parts of an unknown object and discuss what they think it is. Their differing views cause an argument, each thinking their own opinion is correct. The seventh and final mouse explores the whole ‘Something’ and understood it was an elephant.
The Story Machine by Tom McLaughlin
Elliott finds a strange machine that makes letters and words… a story machine! He gets the letters all jumbled up but realises he can create pictures of giraffes, bees, rockets and robots and tell a story.
That Fruit is Mine! by Anuska Allepuz
Five elephants discover a very tall fruit tree deep in the jungle. They compete with each other to see who can reach the exotic fruit first. Their focus on being the first means they don’t notice a team of mice working together to reach the fruit first. But they soon realise that teamwork and communication is a better way to reach their prize.
We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems
Gerald and Piggie discover they are in a book. Piggie realises she can make the reader say things like “Banana!” which has Piggie and Gerald doubled over with laughter. As the book concludes, the pair start to panic as the end of the book gets nearer.
Why Am I Me? by Paige Britt
Who would you be if you were someone else? This is the question posed by a young boy and girl. They ponder if they weren’t who they are would they be taller, faster, smaller, smarter or lighter, older, darker, bolder.
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I hope these picture books about communicators will start discussions on how your students can become effective listeners and collaborators and avoid misunderstandings and conflicts. You may also find this UN document on children and communication interesting.
What books do you use to promote communication in the classroom? Add them to the comments!