Many people think of picture books as something that was read to them as a child and, perhaps, something they read themselves at the very beginning of their reading journey. Picture books are important because of how readers interact with them, especially the read-aloud experience. They are magical whether a child or grown-up reader opens up the book. November is Picture Book Month, an international literacy initiative that celebrates the print picture book in an increasingly digital age. Visual literacy means being able to read, understand, and create visual texts. Children's picture books give parents and teachers wonderful opportunities to help elementary school kids become visually literate. There are so many reasons why picture books are important in a child’s life, including:
- Picture books teach children how to be better listeners. In a read-aloud experience, children learn that paying attention makes reading the book much more fun.
- Picture books help children develop critical thinking skills. Picture books stimulate a state of mind in children that words alone can't achieve.
- Picture books help build vocabulary. Children will often be introduced to words in picture books that they would not find in simpler learn-to-read books. Even when an adult isn't around to help, defining unknown words becomes easier because the pictures provide clues to the reader.
- Picture books encourage joy in reading. Reading picture books is FUN, whether by yourself or with a grown-up or child. When being read to, a child can tell that adults are enjoying themselves, and that helps reinforce the message that READING IS FUN.
To find some of our favorite picture books, visit our Age 0-5 page or ask staff for suggestions!