>My mother always used to say a “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Throughout my many years as a reading specialist I have always shared picture books with my students regardless of their age and reading ability. For developing readers picture books boost confidence and promote the practice of figuring out what the words on the page may say by looking at the picture clues. When more precocious readers read the words and look at the pictures they will often find humor or meaning in what appears to be a “baby” book building on the development of higher level thinking skills. The kids always seem amazed that a picture book has so much to offer and I always enjoy teaching the lesson of don’t judge a book by its cover.
Recently one of my daughters sent me a book entitled Show Me a Story! Why Picture Books Matter: Conversations with 21 of the World’s Most Celebrated Illustrators. Leonard S. Marcus edited and compiled interviews with illustrator/authors whose books I have read for years. All I can say is I loved reading every word in this book. Marcus validated what I have known for years – picture books are not as “simple” as they seem.
So next time there is a family trip to the book store or library, encourage the kids to choose a “picture book”. The older kids may balk but if you read it together and look at the pictures and words more carefully you may discover that picture books are not just for “babies”. In my book recommendations later this week I’ll suggest some books that would interest both the beginning reader and those that have moved on from “baby books”.