Why Picture Books Are Important by Deb Lund

by Dianne on November 2, 2015

Deb Lund book cover

Why Picture Books Are Important by Deb Lund
When my kids were little, we all sprawled out on our king-size bed for “book parties.” We did it because it was soooo much fun! But there are other reasons…

Picture books:
• Strengthen relationships
• Increase empathy
• Promote reading and learning
• Send kids off on paths of success

Deb Lund - Monster Mama reads

Little bodies crawl up into favorite laps to see pictures and hear words read by familiar voices—loved voices. Though there was no library in my small hometown, my young mom read to us nonstop. I passed that on to my own kids. Recently I caught my now 18-year-old reading a picture book to his girlfriend.

Deb Lund - Kai and Jaime read

Remember the original E-books? The E stood for easy, until smart librarians renamed the section Everybody Books because of the breadth of topics and language. Picture books, despite the claims by articles that caused tremors in the picture book world a few years ago, are not dead. Or even dying. In fact, they’re on the rise.

Okay, confession time… If I need to learn about topics like trains, rockets, or dinosaurs for a fiction project, I go to nonfiction picture books first. And think of the art! Tracy Grant, in The Washington Post article “Are Picture Books Dead?,” quoted Dara LaPorte, former children’s bookstore manager. “Picture books expose children to unbelievable, world-class art… You’d have to go to different wings of the National Gallery to get the kind of exposure to styles of art that you can get from several picture books.”

Picture books are meant to be read aloud. Children who have had books read to them become readers. Enough said.

Okay then, get to it. Grab something new or revisit an old friend. Hug that book like you did years ago, warm up that much-loved voice, and throw a bedtime picture book party.

Deb Lund headshot

About Deb Lund
Deb Lund is a past teacher and librarian, a creativity coach, a writing teacher, and the author of bestselling picture books including Dinosailors, All Aboard the Dinotrain, and Dinosoaring. Her master’s project 25+ years ago was on teaching writing, and she’s been supporting writers of all ages ever since. Deb teaches continuing education courses for classroom and writing teachers and is the creator of Fiction Magic: Card Tricks & Tips for Writers. Deb frequently presents at schools, libraries, young author events, and writing conferences. Contact Deb or learn more about her at www.deblund.com.

Literacy Activity
Nov 2 ~ Dinosaurs

“Picture books help students visualize number quantities and number comparison (‘how many more apples does this tree have than that tree?’).” (from the Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide: Why Picture Book Belong in Our Classrooms by Marcie Colleen, 2013).

Stomp, stomp, stomp your way to some dinosaur picture books. Do you think the dinosaurs in the book are drawn to scale or realistic to size in the illustrations? How big would the dinosaurs be in real life? Conduct a library or Internet search to find out. Then, using a measuring tape students can determine their own height to draw comparisons.

Suggested reading:

Dinosoaring (or Dinosailors or All Aboard the Dinosaur Train) by Deb Lund, illustrated by Howard Fine
Dinosaur Mardi Gras by Dianne de Las Casas, illustrated by Marita Gentry
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague
Tyrannosaurus Wrecks! by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, illustrated by Zachariah O’hora
Edwina, The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct by Mo Willems
If You Happen To Have a Dinosaur by Linda Bailey, illustrated by Colin Jack

Be sure to download the Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide: Why Picture Book Belong in Our Classrooms for more engaging ideas and activities to bring picture books into the ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies curriculum!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Marlys Honeyman November 2, 2015 at 11:09 am

Wow! Thanks, Deb. I love your quote from Tracy Grant. That’s priceless! And it’s why picture books are everyone’s guiltless pleasure. I’ll ponder this all day. Hmmmm . . .

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Marlys Honeyman November 2, 2015 at 11:14 am

Oops! I meant your quote from Dara LaPorte (from
The Washington Post article by Tracy Grant): “Picture books expose children to unbelievable, world-class art… You’d have to go to different wings of the National Gallery to get the kind of exposure to styles of art that you can get from several picture books.”
Profound and true.

Reply

:Donna November 2, 2015 at 5:29 pm

Deb, LOVIN’ your son reading THE BOOK WITH NO PICTURES to his girlfriend, and man, you canNOT say enough about the art in PBs. GREAT post! Thanks 😀

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