Mercer Mayer has hundreds of books under his belt. His stories and his illustrations are always memorable and heartwarming. From Little Critter to his tales involving young boys and their occasionally wild imaginations, Mayer creates whimsical stories that stick with readers long after they have grown up.
However, in a series of books Mercer Mayer took an entirely different approach. He created a wordless children’s book, and then from there created several more. These wordless books are still popular today and have no text whatsoever within them. Mercer Mayer is considered one of the first creators of the wordless picture book, hitting it big with his very first published book for kids: A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog. From there, he continued to illustrate books and leave text out, expanding the list of titles.
Included is Frog, Where Are You? Mayer crafts a tale of the same young boy from the very first book, except this time his frog is missing. Though words never make an appearance, kids flipping through the pages will see the boy with his hands cupped around his mouth, calling to his beloved title character even though we never see any words accompanying it. Together with his dog, the boy troops through the woods, over hill and dale, in search of his amphibian. He makes some fun friends and gets into a few adventures along the way until he finally finds out where he has been the whole time.
Mercer Mayer created a simple concept that can go a long way. While books can teach children to read, they also teach them to use their imaginations. The wordless picture book gives children the ability to not only use their imaginations, but to create a story of their own. The boy can say anything they think he might say in different occasions – even the dog can have a few lines if kids are so inclined! Anything is possible with this book. Ideally for ages 3 to 6, youngsters will fall in love with the illustrations, done in black and white with amazing detail, from the bark on the trees to the bees in the air.