This week I focused on "catching up" on my reading. I was starting to get nervous that I wouldn't reach my goal of 50 books this summer. Then I remembered that a big part of my goal (almost half) is picture books. And you'll see from the list below that I've gone from 5 books to almost 30, most of which are picture books. And of those many are 2021 Connecticut Nutmeg Nominees .
I truly love picture books. I love the stories, but most of all I LOVE the illustrations and pictures. They tell their own story, not separate from the words, but with the words. They add a layer that extends the reading. They open opportunities for discovery and discussion. If you have ever read a picture book to a child, you KNOW that their eyes dart from image to image as you read the words. They're not only HEARING the story, they're SEEING it. And that's powerful.
It's unfortunate that many children view picture books as "baby" books and that they're for "little kids". The vocabulary and context of picture book stories can be very complex. They can expose children to words they have never heard before. They explain concepts (in both word and picture) that can be complicated and hard to understand. Picture books are my go-to any time we need to introduce or discuss situations that are scary, hard, or complicated. They offer an easier way to open discussions.
Picture books also provide an opportunity to repeat the story over and over again (maybe not always a positive for the adult). Repetitive reading helps build a child's knowledge and helps with word recognition. Children will eventually begin to be able to read the story themselves and to the adult. Don't worry if it's memorized, that's the point. They will begin to put the words they hear and say together with the words they see. This builds vocabulary and phonetic awareness. They will also learn to "read the pictures", which is a great decoding skill.
Take every opportunity to share picture books with children. Read them often and make sure to TALK, not only about the story, but about the pictures. What do you see? What do you think? How do you know? And if you need any help finding good books, take a look at the ones on my list.
While I haven't' "reviewed" the books, I have put a star next to the ones I liked the most!
I am a PK-6 grade Libary Media Specialist. I LOVE being a librarian, I LOVE reading (now) and I LOVE my students. I am also a wife, mom daughter, aunt and friend; all roles I enjoy thoroughly. I love to laugh try to find the humor in even the darkest moments.