Why Picture Books Are Important by Marcie Colleen

by Dianne on November 16, 2017

Why Picture Books Are Important by Marcie Colleen

A Picture Book is a Love Triangle.

A picture book provides the perfect trifecta of literary love between the child, the reader, and the book. It’s a connector. A meeting place.

Let me explain.

The child, perched on a lap or snuggling up under an arm for story time, watches and listens as favorite characters’ adventure across the pages. Each page turn holds excitement and suspense. Will Curious George deliver the newspapers in time? Where will Peter go on this snowy day? Will Frances eat the soft-boiled egg, or will she get her favorite bread and jam again?

The adult reader experiences the joy of being the lap in the equation, playing with character voices, vocal dynamics, and pacing. Each page contains a scene within a drama, ripe for performance, such as a begging pigeon who just wants to get behind the wheel or an old lady whispering “hush.”

And, lastly, the book, like the cherry atop a yummy dessert. The reason for the pause in a busy day, the connector between two loved ones, the last send-off before a goodnight kiss.

I have many childhood memories of story times with loved ones. As a nanny and as an aunt, I have known the literal warmth of sharing a book with a little. And now, as a picture book author, my book is providing the meeting place, the giggles, the memories someone else will cherish.

I guess you can say, it’s come full circle.

About Marcie Colleen
In previous chapters Marcie Colleen has been a teacher, an actress, and a nanny, but now she spends her days writing children’s books! She is the author of The Super Happy Party Bears chapter book series with Macmillan/Imprint and Love, Triangle, her debut picture book. She lives with her husband and their mischievous sock monkey in San Diego, California. Visit her at www.thisismarciecolleen.com or find her on Twitter: @MarcieColleen1.

Picture book illustrations serve as wonderful models of how shapes are used to create pictures.” (from Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide: Why Picture Books Belong in Our Classrooms by Marcie Colleen, 2013)

Literacy Activity
November 16 – Shapes

Using different shapes that are cut out of varied kinds of paper, ask students to create their own “shapes people”. Imagine them as characters for a story. Have students describe each character’s hobbies and personalities. Pair students and create a dialogue or conversation between the shapes people.

Suggested reading
The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns
Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh
So Many Circles, So Many Squares by Tana Hoban
Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert
Flip-a Shape: Go! by SAMi

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.

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