Why Picture Books Are Important by Adam Lehrhaupt

by Dianne on November 3, 2016

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Why Picture Books Are Important by Adam Lehrhaupt
For most of us, picture books are our first foray into the world of literacy. They help start a love of literature and reading. They are the foundation, the rock on which our literary future can be built. Picture books serve as a conduit to new worlds and information. They’re where we learn to be good listeners, sitting quietly (sometimes) as someone reads to us. Preferable with a slice of pie. (Pecan if possible, but apple will do.)

We look at the illustrations and create our own stories for the action depicted. Maybe our story matches the text, maybe it doesn’t. But that’s okay. We’re learning to create. To tell our own stories. (No. They don’t always have to have monkeys in them.)

As we learn to read for ourselves, the blending of illustrations and narrative take us to a whole new place. We see how they work together to create something more than what they could on their own.

Picture books are beautiful. Often transcendent. They’re gateways to make believe lands and portals to real events and information.

Most importantly, Picture books are worth celebrating. And Picture Book Month is the perfect time to do that. So get out and read, or write, or illustrate a new picture book today. And maybe have some pie. Because picture books and pie go great together.

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About Adam Lehrhaupt
Adam Lehrhaupt is the award-winning picture book author of Warning: Do Not Open This Book!, Please, Open This Book!,Chicken in Space, and I Will Not Eat You. He has traveled to six continents, performed on broadway, and lived on a communal farm. Adam currently lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA with his wife, two sons, and two bizarre dogs. Follow Adam on Twitter, Instagram and Google+ @Lehrhaupt for the occasional brilliant thought or picture, and at adamlehrhaupt.com.

Literacy Activity
November 3 – Monkeys

“Visuals in the illustrations build skills for determining meaning through context.”(from the Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide: Why Picture Books Belong in Our Classroom by Marcie Colleen, 2013).

Choose a character from the book. Ask students to draw that character. Have them talk about the character’s attitude, actions, manners of speaking and physical attributes. Allow students to describe the character in writing after the discussion.

Suggested readings:

Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett
The Complete Adventures of Curious George by Margaret Rey
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Elinee Christelow
Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Noisy Problem by Monroe, Chris.
Counting crocodiles by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand

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

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