Why Picture Books Are Important by Brett Helquist

by Dianne on November 30, 2012

Why Picture Books Are Important by Brett Helquist
Why are picture books important? I’d like to take that a little further and ask: Why are pictures in books important? I can only answer this question for myself. Reading was not easy for me. I had no trouble learning how to read, I just had trouble motivating myself to read. I had little interest in reading a story unless there was a strong picture to catch my interest. Good pictures always caught my eye and made me want to know the story behind the picture

Pictures added so much to the experience of reading a story. A well imagined picture invited me into the characters’ world and made me want to explore it in my imagination, to find out what was under that rock or behind that tree. Pictures helped me begin to create my own stories. It has been fun to watch my daughter learn to read. Long before she could read a word she told many stories of her own just by looking at the pictures in her favorite books. Her stories were often more fun than the story told in the text.

Pictures not only enhanced the reading experience but helped me to learn to read. When I struggled with a word or a passage, I could always use the pictures to help me figure it out. This became even more important as books became more complex. Later in life, I even taught myself to read Chinese by reading comic books. I could not have done it without those pictures.

I love picture books and books with pictures. I truly believe there’s not a book out there that wouldn’t be a bit better with a good picture or two.

Brett Helquist

About Brett Helquist
Brett Helquist’s celebrated art has graced books from the charming Roger, the Jolly Pirate and Dickens’s timeless Christmas Carol to the frightening Scary Stories collections by Alvin Schwartz and the alarming New York Times bestselling Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his family.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura Anne Miller November 30, 2012 at 11:10 am

I love that picture of Bedtime for Bear!! It made me yawn. And Lemony Snickett is the series that drew my daughter into a love of reading. Amazing that you learned Chinese from comics-quite an accomplishment given the complexity of the language. I agree that Pictures are so important in stories–the art is what has to catch my eye to pick up a book. Brett, thanks for taking time for Picture Book Month.


Tina July 10, 2013 at 10:13 pm

I so agree with you that there’s not a book out there that wouldn’t benefit from good pictures!
I am starting a new link-up party this week for all things book and reading related on my blog, Mommynificent. I’d love to have you join us with this post and any others you’d like to share. Hope to see you at Booknificent Thursday this week and every week!
Tina @ Mommynificent


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