Why Picture Books Are Important by Laura Gehl

by Dianne on November 18, 2016


Why Picture Books Are Important by Laura Gehl
There are many magical things about picture books, including how words and art work together, and the fact that you can read a complete, layered story full of humor and heart in just a few minutes. But for me, the most magical thing about picture books is the shared experience of an adult and child reading together.

When I begin reading a new picture book to my daughter, magic happens all over the place. She snuggles in close. She laughs. She points at details in the illustrations. And…more often than not…the book acts as a powerful magnet, pulling in one, two, or even three of her big brothers by the end. The picture book yanks my older kids away from chapter books or graphic novels or the sports pages, away from homework or ping pong or card games to snuggle and laugh and point right along with their sister.

That is the magic of picture books. And that is why I am incredibly grateful to be a picture book author, to be involved in creating these magical moments for other families.


About Laura Gehl
Laura Gehl is the author of One Big Pair of Underwear, a Charlotte Zolotow Highly Commended Title, International Literacy Association Honor Book, and Booklist Books for Youth Editors’ Choice; Hare and Tortoise Race Across Israel and And Then Another Sheep Turned Up (both PJ library selections); and the Peep and Egg series. A former science and reading teacher, she also writes about science for children and adults.  Laura lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with her husband and four children.  Visit her online at www.lauragehl.com.

Literacy Activity
November 18 – Birds

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

Fly into a picture book about birds. How do the birds look like in the book? How do birds look like in real life? Do some bird movements with the students: fly, swoop, flap, glide, perch, sit on an egg, peck on a tree or a piece of bread, take a bird bath, twit and chirp! Go out into the school garden if you have one and watch for birds. Listen to their chirping sounds. Birds often sing!

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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