Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa
Te Rau Herenga O Aotearoa

Telling stories with pictures

Telling stories with pictures by Lizzie Waring, Community Advocate at IHC

Books Beyond Words are a series of books which tell stories using pictures only.  There are now over 50 titles in their collection on a wide range of topics.  The lovely thing about these books is that they are accessible for everyone and allow you to make up the details of the story as you read the pictures.

Book clubs for these fantastic books are now being set up in the UK with over 20 of them already up and running.  These are a great way of bringing people together to make up stories and have some fun.  Books Beyond Words even have free training available online to help libraries to set up their own clubs.  They say “our training introduces people to Beyond Words, our ethos, methods and rationale, offering a range of tested reading techniques for general reading and specialist areas of support and learning”.

These books are great for people who find reading words difficult, have communication difficulties, have intellectual disabilities, or would just prefer the freedom of making up the story for themselves.  Because of this, the books clubs are a way of bringing together people from different community groups into one inclusive club.  In particular, people with intellectual disabilities tell us this this is what they want of library groups, inclusive and accessible groups that are not just for people with intellectual disabilities.

The Books Beyond Words website has lots of information about the books, getting started with them, and even has a free PDF guide about how to set up your own club.  Find out more at

These books are also available at the IHC Library:  

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