If you're an author/illustrator, this might be easier for you because you already have in mind your illustration and can write with sparse text. But for those of us who aren't illustrators, this technique is more difficult.
A couple weeks ago I was teaching about chicks to my 1st graders, and we read Pat Hutchin's newer book, Where, Oh Where, Is Rosie's Chick?
I immediately had a "writerly" thought. This is a perfect mentor text for letting the pictures do the talking. Check out this story line:
"Hooray! Rosie the hen has laid an egg. And, at last her egg is hatching...
[illustration: Hen coming out of coop; chick has fallen over with eggshell on its head.]
"But oh, no! Where is little baby chick?"
[illustration: Hen and other chickens frantic with worry.]
"Rosie looked under the hen house."
Pat did the same thing back in 1969 with her first classic picture book, Rosie's Walk.
And in The Doorbell Rang, she employed this again!
Pat never told the reader how many cookies Mom had baked. The reader has to count the cookies and then understand that 12/2 = 6. This happens throughout the book as more children arrive.
Now in 2016, we're STILL learning about this important technique in picture book writing. If you participated in ReFoReMo, author Janee Trasler also spoke of this very thing. Check out her wonderful post and newer mentor texts. My favorite book from her list is Shh! We Have a Plan.
I've challenged myself to go through my WIPs and see if I've let the text and possible illustrations complement each other.
If you'd like to read more about Pat Hutchins, please check these links.