How to use Wordless Stories with Children

Watch the short video below to hear Jenny Hawkes, co – author of the Lenny and Lilly books from Beyond Words, (and Primary School teacher) explain how to use a wordless story book , if you are unfamiliar with doing so.

This video clip is ideal, too, for introducing parents to the notion of wordless stories and their value in children’s mental and emotional development.


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Lenny and Lily: wordless stories for primary school children – download for free.

Lenny and Lily in Lockdown and Lenny and Lily Return to School will help children make sense of their experiences during the coronavirus pandemic, communicate their feelings and prepare for more change as they go back to the classroom. As the stories are told in pictures alone, it is not necessary for children to be able to read words to enjoy them. This means they are appropriate for pupils in both mainstream and special education settings.

Supporting text at the end of each story gives teaching staff and parents guidance on how to use the stories with children.

Both stories are structured around the 5 Losses and 5 Levers of the Recovery Curriculum –

Both stories are available to download for free in time for the start of the new term from:


Lenny and Lily in Lockdown book coverLenny and Lily Return to School book cover



Zooming’ with Books Beyond Words!

Watch this incredible video clip of FE Tutor Leigh Blakeman, (Chadsgrove College, Bromsgrove) carrying out some home teaching using books beyond words with two students with PMLD from their 19-25 provision. As ever, we are reminded of the power of communication, in whatever form it comes.

Wordless stories to help children returning to school: coming this month

Lenny and Lucy coming August 2020

School closures have been one of the biggest disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. For most children, lockdown has meant a loss of routine, structure, friendship, opportunity and freedom. Some may even have lost loved ones.

If you’re a teacher or parent you will already be thinking about how you’re going to support the children in your care to settle back into their daily school routine after such a long break and so much change.

We’re working with Prof Barry Carpenter CBE and teachers Alison Erskine and Jenny Hawkes to develop two new stories to support all primary school children – mainstream and SEN – in their return to school. Lenny and Lucy in Lockdown and Lenny and Lucy Return to School will help children make sense of their experiences, communicate their feelings and prepare for more change as they go back to the classroom – and they will be available completely free of charge.

Both stories will be available in time for the new school term. To receive an alert when they are published, sign-up to our mailing list.

“Following ‘lockdown’, with children now returning to their schools, teachers know that every child in their class will need time to talk. Each child’s experiences will need to be shared and acknowledged. These wordless stories are a unique way to help children recall and tell their own story of lockdown and to talk about their emotions and feelings as they return to school and begin their journey of recovery.”
– Jenny Hawkes; Assistant Head, Whitfield Aspen School

“The strength of these wordless stories is the ease at which they can be used with all primary aged children. They can be used to stimulate a whole class discussion, as a small group activity or with an individual child. Lenny and Lucy’s experiences are a prompt for all children to tell their own stories, regardless of their communication abilities. Adults are able to listen, acknowledge and reassure the children, helping them articulate what they are feeling and make sense of what is happening as they return to school.”
– Ali Erskine; Head of School for KS1, Whitfield Aspen School

“Children have had their world turned upside down by the pandemic; many are angry and confused, carrying lots of unprocessed information. These books will offer opportunities for children to recall those experiences, and, in so doing tell, ‘their’ story. The books make a unique contribution to the Recovery Curriculum of any school, and to its overall curriculum work in Social, Emotional and Mental Health.”
– Prof Barry Carpenter CBE


Coronavirus resources from Books Beyond Words

Good Days and Bad Days During Lockdown:
A wordless booklet with scenes from existing Beyond Words stories looking at what makes a ‘good day’ and what makes a ‘bad day’. Scenes address social distancing, lockdown, mental health and daily routines.

When someone dies from coronavirus: a guide for families & carers:
An illustrated resource on how to respond when somebody dies from coronavirus. Aimed at family and carers.

Prepared by Prof. Sheila the Baroness Hollins & Prof. Irene Tuffrey-Wijne. These can be downloaded from the website:


The Beyond Words channel (with all our videos) can be accessed here:


The following four give a good introduction and are particularly useful videos.


New picture books about work and volunteering will raise aspirations

Four new books, sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions, have been produced by Books Beyond Words. They were warmly received at a Reception to Launch the Books in the House of Lords on 30th April. Baroness Sheila Hollins, Founder of Books Beyond Words, explained the background to the Project, and the process of developing the four books in tandem.

Professor Barry Carpenter, who co – authored with Dr Roger Banks, the book “Choosing my First Job”, spoke at the Launch about the challenge of Transition for young people with Learning Disabilities, and the potential of the books to reduce anxiety, and explain more clearly the rich array of post school opportunities.

For further information about the event, and details about where the books can be obtained from, follow the link below.

Barry Carpenter, speaking at a Books Beyond Words event