Why Picture Books Are Important by Eric Litwin

by Dianne on November 27, 2015

Eric Litwin book cover - Pete the Cat

Why Picture Books Are Important by Eric Litwin
Literacy begins with picture books. They are the first step on the path to reading and learning.

The love of books and reading starts when a child first feels the joy of story and pictures. It is expressed with those magical words, “Read it again”. It is nourished in cherished moments of bonding between caretaker and child as they read together. It is where a child’s imagination is given wings and the encouragement to fly. It is where the love of language begins.

Picture books integrate words and art into an extraordinary experience. Picture books are often deeply conceptual and work on many layers. This is why they are loved by children and adults alike.

I love to create picture books that blend early literacy and music together. I love to create picture books that are fully interactive between the child and reader. What is extraordinary is that these same techniques help the emerging reader learn to read.

My greatest joy is when parents and teachers share with me the moment their child broke through and was able to read. Their child’s happiness as they first read and their parents joy watching their child break into the world of literacy is astonishing. I want every family to feel that happiness.

So let’s celebrate Picture Book Month by reading and singing and learning together.

Eric Litwin headshot

About Eric Litwin
Eric began as a classroom teacher. He discovered that music helped his students learn to read and fall in love with books. So he brought his guitar to work every day. Eric left the classroom to write books that bring music and literacy together. Eric became a popular entertainer giving hundreds of shows every year. He did this for over ten years developing his unique musical writing style. Eric entered the world of publishing when he wrote the first four Pete the Cat Picture books (I Love My White Shoes, Rocking in My School Shoes, Four Groovy Buttons and Pete the Cat Saves Christmas). They were a huge success and are now classroom classics, helping more and more children learn to read. Eric continues to delight audiences through live performances where he shares his books and music. Eric has exciting new characters and books on the way. So stay in touch and stay groovy because it’s all good. Visit Eric at ericlitwin.com.

Literacy Activity
Nov 27 ~ Cats

“Children are born scientists; and picture books, like Science, are about the spirit of curiosity and exploration.” (from the Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide: Why Picture Book Belong in Our Classrooms by Marcie Colleen, 2013).

They say “curiosity killed the cat,” yet curious minds should be celebrated! Real scientists are always asking questions and seeking answers. Ask your students to be scientists or “text-plorers.” Page by page read a picture book aloud. Ask students what questions they have after each page. Make sure to record all questions. No questions are silly. At the end of the book, review the list of questions and discuss possible answers. Some questions may have been answered in the story. Maybe some kids would want to guess or “hypothesize” the answers that are still unknown. Next, research the answers in the library or on the computer.

Suggested reading:

A Box Full of Kittens! by Sonia Manzano, illustrated by Matt Phelan
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin, illustrated by James Dean
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed by Leslea Newman, illustrated by Amy June Bates
Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant

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

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

:Donna November 29, 2015 at 1:34 pm

Eric, I love that your favorite moment is that “breaking through” moment. Your heart is what makes your picture books “sing” 😀

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