Why Picture Books are Important by Stefan Jolet
Picture books are at the center of some of my earliest memories. I was always an artistic child, drawing on anything within reach. Monsters with big teeth, robots and talking animals were my go-to subjects, but I drew whatever popped into my head, and picture books were the inspiration for them all. Some of my favorites were (and still are) Green Eggs & Ham, Where the Wild Things Are and The Monster At the End of This Book, and various family members frequently got signed up for reading duty.
Years later, it was my turn to read after my son was born, and we often covered newer books like Pinocchio the Boy, Click, Clack, Moo, Cows That Type and If You Give a Pig a Pancake. It was around this time that I truly realized the power that picture books hold.
When the words and pictures come together in just that certain way… it’s magic. Picture books unlock children’s imaginations and inspire them. They help children express themselves and encourage bonding time between family and friends. And best of all, they can be enjoyed at any age and passed on for future generations to enjoy over and over again.
About Stefan Jolet
Stefan Jolet is a full time graphic designer and the illustrator of The Legend of Peli Claus, Cinderellaphant, and the iOS app, Rockin’ Three Billy Goats. He currently lives in Lafayette, LA with his son, Alex, and their perpetually sneezing dachshund, Noodle.
Picture Book Month Daily Theme: Elephants
The tale of Cinderella is a well-known one. Even though a version might be fractured, there are key elements that are familiar.
Do not read Cinderellaphant, but show a few random illustrations to the children. Can you identify what part of the Cinderella story is being told in each picture? What are the visual clues?
Look closely at the many clothed (and talking) animals depicted in Cinderellaphant. How many different animals can the children find? Have students draw an animal of their own as a guest at the Royal Ball. Be sure to dress the animal in fancy clothes set for a party. Lastly, each child should write a line of text (as if it is included in Cinderellaphant) telling what the animal is doing at the ball.
Create a bulletin board display of all of the animals.
Correlates to the Common Core Reading standards: RL.K.7; RL.1.7; RL.2.7; Writing standards W.K.3