Why Picture Books Are Important by Josh Funk

by Dianne on November 8, 2016


Why Picture Books Are Important (and Awesome) by Josh Funk
I’m not particularly sophisticated. I get confused when there’s more than one fork at the table. I prefer Toad the Wet Sprocket over The Marriage of Figaro. And I’d definitely prefer some fruit punch over a fruit tart.

But I do like fine art – and I get to see it all the time! No, I haven’t been to an art gallery since I was forced to write a paper about Winslow Homer (how many paintings about boats can one person create?!?).

You see, the best art in the WORLD is being created by today’s picture book artists.

Every picture book contains 32 pages (or more) filled with gloriously crafted images. I like to think of each book as an artist’s exhibit in a gallery.

Do you like birds? Why, here’s Molly Idle’s Flora series full of peacock portraits, flamingo figures, and picturesque penguins.

Check out the use of light and dark with acrylic paint in Brian Lies’ Bats series.

A fan of pointillism? Read KINDERGARTEN LUCK illustrated by Geneviève Godbout.

Interested in mixed media? Philip C. Stead has a gorgeous collection in JONATHAN AND THE BIG BLUE BOAT.

Or are you more into realism? Then Sarah S. Brannen’s art in FEATHERS NOT JUST FOR FLYING is perfect for you.

Every picture book is a veritable art gallery. Each bookshelf holds an entire museum.

So if you aren’t hoity toity member of high society or prefer a Coke Zero to a Château Pétrus – don’t worry. Luxury is just around the next page turn.

And here’s the best part … you know those silly useless dust jackets that come with books? The ones that the tiny readers tear apart? Grab a few picture frames … and your bedroom or classroom (or entire home) can truly become an art gallery.


About Josh Funk
Josh Funk is the author of Pirasaurs!, Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast, Dear Dragon, and other picture books. Josh is terrible at writing bios, so please help fill in the blanks.

Josh enjoys _______ during ________ and has always loved __________. He has played ____________ since age __ and his biggest fear in life is being eaten by a __________. Find out more at www.joshfunkbooks.com and on twitter @joshfunkbooks.

Literacy Activity
November 8 – Pirates

“Picture books are meant to be read aloud, which automatically makes them a social experience.” (from Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide: Why Picture Books Belong in Our Classrooms by Marcie Colleen, 2013).

Create a Reader’s Theater version of the story. Cast students as characters and have them read the book’s dialogue.

Suggested reading:
Pirate Princess by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, illustrated by Jill McElmurry
Pirate Mom by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Stephen Gilpin
Do Pirates Take Baths? by Kathy Tucker, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott
How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long, illustrated by David Shannon
Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC by June Sobel, illustrated by Henry Cole

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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