Why Picture Books Are Important by Hazel G. Mitchell

by Dianne on November 16, 2013

Hazel Mitchell book cover

Before a child even knows about ABCs or reading, they are learning to read pictures. That’s what we are doing from the moment we open our eyes – learning a visual language – the language of our mother’s face, the world around us and the objects in it. Words for these things come later. Pictures come first! The progression to books with pictures is a natural advancement in understanding our world and building a vocabulary that at first has nothing to do with the written word, but everything to do with looking, hearing and speech. Parents who share picture books with their children from the very first months until they are devouring books on their own, are helping the child to communicate on so many levels and to develop a love for learning and reading. That’s why picture books are important!

Hazel Mitchell headshot

About Hazel Mitchell
Illustrator of 14 books for children, Hazel Mitchell can’t remember a time when she wasn’t drawing. Even now she can’t be safely left alone with a pencil! Her books include 1,2,3 by the Sea, Hidden New Jersey, One Word Pearl, All Star Cheerleaders and How to Talk to an Autistic Kid (ForeWord Reviews Gold Medal winner). Hazel is originally from Yorkshire, England and now lives and works in Maine, USA and visits schools to talk with students about her illustration work. Visit her website at www.hazelmitchell.com and book a visit through www.authorvisits.com.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Beryl Reichenberg November 16, 2013 at 1:55 pm

So true! Even the few minutes parents take to sit down with their children to look at or read a book is important for both child and parent. That quiet time together is a bonding experience as well as a learning experience. As an picture book author and illustrator and also a grandmother I thank you for sharing your insight. Beryl

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Tina Serrano November 16, 2013 at 3:13 pm

I have worked with preschool children for over 20 years, and have seen many little eyes light up when I take out my picture books for circle time stories! The importance of visual learning tools is essential to children’s growth and learning experiences.
Staying on top of the picture book news is a good way to learn how to keep your students engaged in an imaginary world of great things!It is also a tool to use in knowing how to create a love in them for learning new things.

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Joanne Roberts November 16, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Hazel is one of my favorite book-creating people. Thanks for another great post.

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WriterSideUp November 16, 2013 at 4:21 pm

First, Hazel, it was such a pleasure getting to meet you face-to-face at the Princeton Book Festival 🙂 You’re SO sweet (and I love my signed copy of ONE WORD PEARL, of course) and I adore your accent—probably as much as I adore your illustrations! 🙂

I love the way you so eloquently expressed probably THE most important reason picture books are, in fact—IMPORTANT. It’s one of the most joyous, effective ways for children to learn about their world and for loved ones to connect on that level. It’s also one of the reasons the publishing industry should re-think the insistence of SUPER-short texts in picture books, because they want to target children learning to read younger. It’s absurd.

Thanks for a beautiful post 🙂

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