Why Picture Books Are Important by Ame Dyckman
When you’re a kid, everything in the universe seems bigger than you:
Shots at the doctor’s office.
Your portion of broccoli.
The dog on the corner whose chain might not hold.
Bigger is everywhere.
That’s why it’s so empowering for little ones to curl up even littler—
In a chair.
Under the tablecloth.
On a favorite lap.
And hold an entire tiny universe in their hands:
A picture book.
Inside, relatable characters experience:
Fears and friendships and failed first attempts.
Quirks and quests and even… quinoa. (Okay, not quinoa. Somebody get on that.)
Boogeymen and bravery and betterment and—
When a kid finishes a picture book, a bit of the tiny universe they just explored stays with them in this one.
And suddenly, this universe seems a tad more manageable.
After all, a sword is bigger than a needle.
A deep dark forest is bigger than broccoli.
And the dog on the corner?
He’s nothing compared to that monster in the closet.
(You know. They one that actually isn’t so scary once you get to know him.)
Now, a secret?
Picture books can be tiny universes for adults, too.
After a long day.
The wrong day.
A “Why’d I grow up?” day.
So grab the nearest picture book and get littler.
Just no reading under the tablecloth for you.
I called dibs.
About Ame Dyckman
Ame Dyckman reads and writes picture books when she should be sleeping. She’s the award-winning author of Boy + Bot, Tea Party Rules, and the upcoming Wolfie the Bunny (February 17, 2015), and Horrible Bear (Spring, 2016). Ame lives in New Jersey with her family, her naughty-but-hysterical cat, and her book collection. Follow Ame on Twitter (@AmeDyckman), where she Tweets picture book reviews and pretty much everything that pops into her head.
Picture Book Month Daily Theme: Robots
It doesn’t matter if a kid is big or little, everyone deserves to make up the rules every once in a while. With a large piece of paper, some crayons/markers, a die and some imagination kids can design their own board games with their own wacky rules.
Using Tea Party Rules as inspiration, create a board game in which Bear tries to reach a plate of cookies.
Create a start space, a finish place—with a delicious plate of cookies—and several hazards along the way (baths, fancy clothes, etc) that can be either taken directly from the book or new.
Add a stack of small cards to create forfeits or challenges to go alongside the game. Lastly, don’t forget to include written instructions on how to play the game.
Correlates to the Common Core Writing standards: W.1.2, W.2.2, W.3.2a,4, W.4.2a,4
LIBRARIANS and TEACHERS OF YOUNGER GRADES: Help children create an original version of “Mother May I?”, “What Time is it Mr. Fox?” or “Red Light, Green Light” in which they are Bear and the finish line is a plate of cookies. Be sure to add some fun, wacky and unique rules.