Why Picture Books Are Important by Bruce Whatley

by Dianne on November 28, 2012

Why Picture Books Are Important by Bruce Whatley
Picture books are an important tool in teaching children to read but they are also a medium in their own right. There are stories that can only be told in the form of a picture book. They can create a magical, unexpected world for the reader pushing and challenging their imagination. The medium can also be used in a multitude of ways not only descriptive and informative but it can be the source of great humour. The gamut of emotions really.

The interplay of text and pictures is a very unique form of communication enabling the narrative to have many layers. The best picture books, either by design or accident, do this so that children and adults of all ages find something special in them.

My earliest memories of reading are Rupert Bear and a Circus Boy Annual. I was a late reader and with Rupert, I was so captivated by his world it didn’t matter that I couldn’t take in the text. Visual literacy is just as important as text based literacy especially as we are living in an increasingly visual world. While language is predominately a left brain function image making and appreciation is very much a right brain activity. So I’m sure the exposure to picture books at an early age can be very healthy, exercising the brain and stimulating the imagination.

But more than that – they’re great fun!

About Bruce Whatley
Bruce celebrates the 20th anniversary this year of his first book, The Ugliest Dog in the World. Since then he has written and/or illustrated over 60 picture books. They’ve starred a multitude of characters including some very ugly dogs, robots, royalty and a very moody wombat! Bruce is continually experimenting including using “his other hand” searching for new and better ways to tell his visual narratives.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Laura Anne Miller November 28, 2012 at 11:03 am

Bruce, I agree that picture books challenge our imagination as well as the kids we read to!! Thanks for supporting picture book month.


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