Why Picture Books Are Important by Todd Parr
It’s hard for me to write about picture books. If you asked me to draw a picture or talk about them, I could go on forever. They helped me learn how to read. My grandmother would read Go Dog Go, and Green Eggs and Ham, Hop On Pop, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish night after night. It wasn’t long before I had the books memorized but I still wanted her to read them to me. I loved seeing all the different colored dogs, dogs driving cars, wearing hats, playing in a tree, and helping each other out. We even made green eggs and ham for breakfast one morning.
Picture books open up the world in which anything can happen. You can imagine you are a brave princess or a scary dinosaur. You can see different places, people, and food. You can read them all by yourself or share them with someone you love. I think what makes a good picture book is simple images, bright colors, positive messages, love, identifiable characters and humor (underwear always works.) Also, since adults are the ones that are reading the book to the child it should be something that they don’t mind reading over and over.
Reading is important! When you read or when someone reads to you it helps you learn and discover new things. Curl up with someone special and read a book. You’ll feel really good.
“Picture books provide opportunities to develop background knowledge and for front loading before the beginning of a new unit.” (from Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide: Why Picture Books Belong in Our Classrooms by Marcie Colleen, 2013).
Before reading aloud a picture book, ask students what they know about the theme or topic. Tell them to listen and to pay attention during the read aloud. At the end, ask students if they learned new things and ideas on the theme or topic of the story.
Stone Soup by Jin J. Muth
When Stories Fell Like Shooting Stars by Valise Gregory, illustrated by Stefano Vitale
The Conquerors by David McKee
What Does Peace Feel Like? by Vladimir Radunsky
Silent Music: A Story of Bagdhad by James Rumford
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!