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Why Picture Books Are Important by Elizabeth Bluemle
As a picture book author who also owns a bookstore, I have the remarkable pleasure of seeing thousands of people a year connect with picture books. Gruff old men come to the store, barking out, “I suppose you don’t have ‘Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel!” Then, when we happily hand them a copy, their faces transform into the five-year-old boy they once were. They feel the magic all over again.

It’s almost miraculous, the reaction people have to books that meant something to them as children. The pull is beyond words; it’s visceral. It operates at the level of the heart. Often people are surprised by the strength of their own attachment. “I don’t know why I loved this book SO MUCH,” they’ll often say, “but I was obsessed.”

I know that for me, picture books were real. I entered the forest of Max’s jungle room and swung on the vines with the friendly-scary monsters. Ferdinand the Bull was my friend, who taught me the power of gentleness and honoring one’s true nature. I adored Corduroy, and my heart pounded with Ping’s misadventures. Eloise and Frances the badger were my naughty alter egos. The list of my picture book heroes goes on and on.

So when children quote my books to me, or dance exuberant ‘wokkas,’ or riff on my words with their own inventive lines, I feel so lucky to be a small part of this wild and capacious art form—and to press my childhood favorites into their hands.

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About Elizabeth Bluemle
Elizabeth Bluemle is the award-winning author of four picture books with Candlewick Press: My Father the Dog and How Do You Wokka-Wokka? (both illustrated by Randy Cecil), Dogs on the Bed (illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf), and Tap Tap Boom Boom (illustrated by G. Brian Karas). She is also the co-owner of The Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne, Vermont, and blogs about children’s bookselling for Publishers Weekly. Websites: www.elizabethbluemle.comwww.flyingpigbooks.com, and http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/shelftalker/

Literacy Activity
November 20 – Weather

“Although fiction picture books provide fantastical elements, these stories provide wonderful springboards for conversation about fact vs. fiction and can spark the desire for further research.” (from Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide: Why Picture Books Belong in Our Classrooms by Marcie Colleen, 2013).

Have a weather chart in the classroom that includes information on the attire and protective gear necessary for different weather conditions. Partner this weather chart with a classroom library containing selections of books on different weather conditions.

Suggested reading

Come on Rain by Karen Hesse, pictures by John J. Muth
Hurricane by David Wiesner
On the Same Day in March by Marilyn Singer
The Story of Snow The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino
The Cloud Book by Tomie dePaola

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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Why Picture Books Are Important by Alexandra Penfold
Picture books are important because they teach people to be readers and teach readers to be people. Even before they know the words and even before they can make sounds, children can “read” pictures and piece together stories. Picture books are the union of art and language. Picture books are meant to be read aloud. There’s a special sort of theater to them and a magic that happens with the turn of a page.

As a kid I loved picture books for, well, the pictures. I could spend hours poring over the illustrations looking for hidden secrets in the art. As I grew and became confident with reading, I learned to love the text, as well, memorizing my favorite refrains so I could recite them along with my parents, delighting in the shared experience. These days my delight is in reading to my children, seeing what lines make them laugh out loud, watching them react as a page turn reveals a big plot twist and sends the story spinning into an entirely different direction, marveling as they make connections between the books we read and life in the world around them.

There are so many different ways that picture books shape the worlds of their readers. Picture books are mirrors. Picture books are windows. Picture books are time machines. Picture books are portals to universes beyond our own.

Picture books are empowering. Picture books can give comfort and reassurance and picture books can expand our horizons. They remind us of a place where someone loves us “best of all” and where no matter how far we roam our dinner will still be hot.

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About Alexandra Penfold
Alexandra Penfold has been working in publishing for over a decade as a children’s book editor and as an agent. She’s the co-author of New York a la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple’s Best Food Trucks. She is the author of the forthcoming, We Are Brothers, We Are Friends, illustrated by Eda Kaban. Eat, Sleep, Poop, illustrated by Jane Massey is her picture book debut. Alexandra lives with her family in New York, where she is most likely to be found reading, writing, drinking coffee and/or baking pie.

Head shot photo (credit Donny Tsang).

Literacy Activity
November 19 – Babies/Kids

“Picture books help students visualize what they are reading and make sense of the content which is a big component in spatial learning and problem solving.” (from Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide: Why Picture Books Belong in Our Classrooms by Marcie Colleen, 2013).

Bring pictures in class that show you as a baby, a kid, a teenager and an adult. Talk about memories of your childhood. Put the photos in order showing your growth as a person. Discuss the many changes that happened to you growing up. Ask students to bring two or three pictures of themselves for a growth chart activity and a book project that they will do in class.

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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Why Picture Books Are Important by Laura Gehl

by Dianne on November 18, 2016

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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.

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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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Why Picture Books Are Important by Isabel Roxas

by Dianne on November 17, 2016

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Why Picture Books Are Important by Isabel Roxas
I love all books, but picture books best of all.

We slowly open their pages, and are quickly pulled in by a wild rumpus, meandering crayon lines or quiet drifts of snow. They envelope us and hug and splash! They provide our first encounters with objects and worlds that may not exist or immediately surround us.

They are quite remarkable in their breadth—they can educate, entertain, challenge or enlighten.

The best ones we keep in our hearts long after we are no longer small, and remind us that interesting worlds are within our minds to imagine.

There are plenty more reasons to be sure, but it is best if you just crack one open and jump right in!

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About Isabel Roxas
Isabel Roxas is an illustrator, designer and avid reader.

She was born in the Philippines, was raised on luscious mangoes, old wives’ tales, and monsoon moons. She now illustrates picture books and creates ceramic creatures in a former pencil factory in Brooklyn.

Isabel has illustrated several books for young readers, including Goodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown (Sterling Books, 2014) and Day at the Market by May Tobias-Papa (Adarna House, 2008).

Her latest book, Let Me Finish was written by Minh Lê (Disney-Hyperion 2016) is an ode to book lovers everywhere.

Literacy Activity
November 17 – Insects

“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).

Pick and point at characters, animals, insects, trees and plants in a picture book. Ask students if they can see basic shapes in the drawings. Tell them how the use of basic shapes help illustrators draw and create characters, scenes and events in stories and picture books. Show a video of an artist creating a character using basic shapes. Set up a drawing and writing center in your classroom and allow students to draw using basic shapes for a person, animal, insect, trees and plants.

Suggested reading:
The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle
Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni
Bugs Are Insects by Anne Rockwell and Steve Jenkins
Butterflies in the Garden by Carol Lerner
Those Amazing Ants by Patricia Brennan Demuth and S. D. Schindler

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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Why Picture Books Are Important by Doug Cushman

by Dianne on November 16, 2016

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Why Picture Books Are Important by Doug Cushman

The first picture book I recall was from the classic Little Golden Book series my mother bought at the Big Bear super market in Ohio. In Scuffy the Tug Boat, the toy boat is let loose in a strong river current to explore the world on his own without the little boy and The Man With the Polka Dot Tie. In one scene, Scuffy sails past women washing clothes on the riverbank, cows standing in the water for a cool drink. Scuffy sails between the legs of one large animal.

That cow terrified me. I feared for Scuffy. What if that cow stepped on him? What if he was gobbled up by that monstrous bovine? I still can’t look at a cow without a tiny shiver of fright crawling up my spine.

That is the power of picture books. One image, one sentence can stay with a child though adolescence and adulthood. Picture books are the first windows a child looks through to see the world beyond her tiny world of family and home. Lessons learned from early picture books last a lifetime.

We writers and illustrators receive letters and emails from adults who have been inspired by our books as children. Some have grown up to be artists and writers because of our books. We have touched their lives directly, profoundly.

Picture books do change lives. They plant seeds of adventure; the adventure of new worlds, the adventure of new people, the adventure of learning. Children are shaped by what they see and read. Like a river’s current carrying a toy boat to the ocean, a picture book carries a child through the adventure of life, revealing signposts to make the journey easier and less mysterious.

Even with those scary cows standing in the water.

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About Doug Cushman
Doug Cushman has illustrated over 130 children’s books, thirty he wrote as well. His honors include a Reading Rainbow distinction, New York Times Children’s Best Sellers list, a National Cartoonist’s Society Reuben Award for Book Illustration, a 2007 and 2010 Maryland Blue Crab Award, the 2009 California Young Readers Medal and the 2013 IBBY Award for Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities list. He enjoys cooking, traveling and painting—even designing wine labels for a Burgundy wine maker—in Brittany, France.

Literacy Activity
November 16 – Jungle

“Literature takes us to places we cannot go when inside a classroom; and additionally, through the use of illustrations and photographs picture books can show us places we are unable to go to ourselves.” (from Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide: Why Picture Books Belong in Our Classrooms by Marcie Colleen, 2013).

Make dioramas of important events from a picture book or a story. Have students pick out their favorite characters. Some can make the setting of the story for the class diorama. Put on display the dioramas in the classroom or in the library. Students present their dioramas in class and why they picked the event as important.

Suggested reading:
Way Up High in a Tall Green Tree by Jan Peck and Valeria Petrone.
Fernando’s Gift by Douglas Keister
Rain Forests by Nancy Levinson and Diane Hearn
Jungle Song by Miriam Moss and Adrienne Kennaway
The Very Noisy Jungle by Kathryn White and Gill Guile

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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Why Picture Books Are Important by John Parra

by Dianne on November 15, 2016

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Why Picture Books Are Important by John Parra
For a child, a picture book can be a book of many “firsts”. It may be their first introduction to wonderful artwork and images. It can be their first book that promotes: intricate language, words, and storytelling. It often introduces them to diverse characters and far off places, and it opens them up for their first real steps into a bigger and wider world.

When I was young, story time at my house was special to me. Just before heading to bed, my mom would call to my brothers and I to read a book. It was usually an old favorite she would recite out-loud. My mom had a great speaking voice and could always describe the people, environment, and events from the story so well. I equally remember taking trips to my local libraries in Santa Barbara and Goleta, California. I would find numerous picture books with amazing art that held my attention for hours, especially anything by Virginia Lee Burton. There were books on trains and tractors, dinosaurs and dragons, skyscrapers and forests, animals and people. I could be any number of the characters portrayed in those books, living many different adventures before going home.

Through these early books I learned about asking questions and being curious. It is this power of literacy and images that can transform people’s lives, give them hope and empathy, and unlock their potential for actual change. Today as a children’s book illustrator I hope to continue in being a part of that tradition of teaching and inspiring others. I am sure many of us can recall our many “firsts” with picture books, what we loved and remembered about them, and how our eyes were open to this incredible new world of characters, stories and ideas.

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About John Parra
John Parra is an award-winning illustrator, designer, teacher, and fine art painter. His children’s books have earned numerous starred reviews and appeared on the Texas Library Association’s 2×2 Reading List. His awards include: The SCBWI Golden Kite Award for illustration, ALA’s Pura Belpré Honor’s Award, The International Latino Book Award for Best Children’s Book Illustrations, The Christophers Award, and many more. John also illustrates for commercial clients including: United Airlines, Hitachi, National Geographic, and PBS. In 2015 John was invited by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to present a special event about his work and career in art and illustration. John lives with his wife Maria in Queens, NY.

Literacy Activity
November 15 – Travel

“Picture books lend themselves nicely to technical writing assignments, including but not limited to letters to authors or illustrators, book reviews, research papers based on a theme found within the story.” (from Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide: Why Picture Books Belong in Our Classrooms by Marcie Colleen, 2013).

Create a travel guide of your town or city. A group with five students is ideal. Assign roles to students: researchers, content writers, illustrators and designers. Show samples of travel guides to students before they begin the project. Give them enough time to research and plan what to put in their travel guide, what it is for, the contents to put in the guide, its design, the materials they need to finish the guide. Give students a workable deadline for this project. Team teach with the librarian or a co-teacher. Use resources in the public library or interview members of the community to help students make the travel guide.

Suggested reading:
Paddington by Michael Bond, illustrated by R. W. Alley
Where the wild things are by Maurice Sendak
Oh, the places you’ll go by Dr Seuss
Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski
Madeline in London by Ludwig Bemelmans

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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Why Picture Books Are Important by Andrea Davis Pinkney

The Question by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Picture Books,
Why, do we need you?

Oh, Picture Books,
we need you because
you are
the safest harbors,
the quilts,
the songs,
the names and faces
that grace us with whimsical winks,
twinkling from pages that flip,
and invite us to join the ride.

We giggle when you call, Come, child, fly!

That is why
we need every bit of your word-picture power.

Oh, Picture Books,
we need your escape.
We crave your colors,
your stories,
your comfort-hugs
that sweep us up
in sweet reading embraces.

Picture Books,
oh, oh ? only you can do the magic trick
that makes the world’s worries vanish,
and,
at the very same time,
pulls a bouquet from a hat
whose crown is deep with seeds
that speak especially to me.

That is why, Picture Books,
you
need
to be!

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About Andrea Pinkney
Andrea Davis Pinkney is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of many books for children, including her most recent, A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day. Her books have been awarded multiple Coretta Scott King Award citations, Jane Addams Children’s Literature Honors, NAACP Image Award nominations, the Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor, and several Parenting Publication Gold Medals. Andrea was named one of the “25 Most Influential People in Our Children’s Lives” by Children’s Health Magazine. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, illustrator Brian Pinkney, and their children.

Literacy Activity
November 14 – Music

Picture books are specifically and technically crafted. Due to the concise and simple nature of the genre, word choice and structure is extremely important. (from Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide: Why Picture Books Belong in Our Classrooms by Marcie Colleen, 2013).

Create a classroom library of picture books about music, musicians, poems and poetry. Read aloud a picture book from the collection on a regular basis. Have students write their favorite songs and tell them to draw pictures or images they see in their minds when they read or when they sing the songs.

Suggested reading:
Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane by Carole Boston Weatherford illustrated by,Sean Qualls
Ben’s Trumpet Paperback by Rachel Isadora
For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart by Elizabeth Rusch, illustrated by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson
The Philharmonic Gets Dressed by Karla Kuskin, illustrated by Marc Simont
M Is for Music by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Stacy Innerst

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!

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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Why Picture Books Are Important by Paul Hankins
We should get something out of the way before we begin to explore how I have come to celebrate picture books. Those picture books that meant something to me as a child and those picture books in which I still found delight as as a young adult and those picture books that captivate me now.

I tear the pages out. I hold them up to the light. Recto and verso to be sure that nothing is missed in the inspection.

I cut them up. I cut close to the lines left to me by the artists who bring the images to the words of the story. Sometimes, the author and the illustrator are the same. But, the one who cuts is singular.

When I am finished with these treasures, there is very little left but the remnants of the dust jacket and the flimsy, page-less case with its binding glue exposed.

I came into remixing by accident. I receive a lot of F&Gs of picture books and I cannot keep them all. But I wanted to see if I could create some wall art from the pages of these advanced reader copies. After a couple of interesting starts–smaller collages that let me practice with arrangement of images–I decided that I wanted to try creating poster board-sized collages of picture books with the following conditions:

• I would only use the one picture book and its elements within for the “remix.” This means I have to know the book, cover to cover. I have to make decisions as well as sacrifices as I find images that must be part of the remix on the facing page of another that might work just as well.

• The remix must–in effect–retell the story within the composite of the picture book in a singular panel to the best of my ability. There is no artistic retelling or manipulating of the story. The viewer should be able to see the elements of the picture book coming back through the collage. They should be able to recall the treasure as they might have read in within the way that I have remixed it.

• Attribution must appear within the remix to include the title, the author and illustrator, and the publisher. This is how I give credit to the original creative team for the book as I come in as the remix artist to create something new.

• I would only remix those picture books for which I had a companion title. This self-imposed rule became, “One for the remix; one for the room.” In this way, if the remix drew curiosity from the viewer, I could easily share the book from which it came with a reader.

To date, I have up to forty picture book remixes. I have remixed books published prior to my birth, books from my childhood, books from my young adulthood, and, now, picture books that strike me as visually-arresting, practically begging for the remix. What began as a simple, “Might I render this in collage-style art?” has become a sort of “I must remix this book.”

I hope that what I do by way of the accidental artist is to bring more attention to picture books. To book titles I find on the shelves of thrift stores back on the reading radar of the people who see these remixes as I share them. I have had fans of the “remixes” remind me that a “warm supper” should appear within a remix of Maurice Sendek’s Where the Wild Things Are. I have had an author invite me to use the original photographs found on her website that inspired a Caldecott honor book and classroom treasure. A poet uses one of the remixes as postcards she shares with family and friends.

More than anything, I continue to be inspired–captivated–by the synthesis of image and text that come from picture books. I continue to believe in image as text. . .in the way that a story can be told back through a series of images–artfully arranged–to the delight of those who originally read them when they were together. When they were whole.

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About Paul W. Hankins
Paul W. Hankins teaches English 11 and AP English Language and Composition at Silver Creek High School. He calls southern Indiana home and shares this his wife, Kristie, and two children Noah (16) and Madalyn (14). He also calls books his home and he opens them up to anyone who would hear and answer the invitation. Paul blogs at These 4 Corners on a variety of subjects including education, reading, and creativity.

Literacy Activity
November 13 – Mice

“Picture books are specifically and technically crafted. Due to the concise and simple nature of the genre, word choice and structure is extremely important.” (from Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide: Why Picture Books Belong in Our Classrooms by Marcie Colleen, 2013).

After reading a picture book, ask students to draw their favorite character, event, situation or object of the story. Color and cut their drawings to make a class collage representative of their appreciation or understanding of the story.

Suggested reading:
A Wilcox and Griswold Mystery: The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake by Robin Newman, illustrated by Deborah Zemke
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff, illustrated Felicia Bond
The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
By Mouse and Frog by Deborah Freedman

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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Why Picture Books Are Important by Jeanie Ransom
When I was a child, bedtime meant story time. I was too young to know that the stories my parents read to me each night were called “picture books.” I just knew that they made me feel safe, secure, and very much loved. Even though my parents had a “three-books-at-bedtime” rule, it didn’t keep me from asking for one more.

Being immersed in picture books at an early age gave me deep roots as a reader, made me eager to learn, and set me up for success — in school as well as in life.

So when I became a parent, I made sure picture books were part of my children’s lives, right from the start. To be sure, babies may not be the most attentive — or appreciative — audience. They may even try to eat the book. But babies are more absorbent than the best diaper. Hearing the words sets into motion the whole wonderful, wonderous process of becoming a reader.

My baby boys are now young men, 20, 24, and 27. I’m proud to have raised three life-long readers. But I can’t take all the credit, nor would I. That belongs to picture books.

Although early childhood may be the most important time for picture books, it’s not the only time. Through my work as a picture-book author, school counselor, and child therapist, I’ve seen picture books do some pretty amazing things, and I wish I could share them with you. But I only have 300 words, so I’ll have to save those stories for another day. Just know this: getting the right book into the right hands at the right time can make all the difference.

Never underestimate the power of picture books. They’re personal yet universal. And they are very, very important.

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About Jeanie Franz Ransom
Jeanie Franz Ransom is a picture book author and former elementary school counselor whose books include WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO HUMPTY, a 2011 Children’s Choice award winner and one of Booklist’s “Top 100 Best Children’s and YA Mysteries of the Past Ten Years,” and THE CROWN AFFAIR, a 2016 Children’s Choices pick.

She has two new picture books this year: BIG RED AND THE LITTLE BITTY WOLF: A STORY ABOUT BULLYING, and THERE’S A CAT IN OUR CLASS! A TALE ABOUT GETTING ALONG, and her next book, COWBOY CAR, comes out in April 2017.

When Jeanie’s not writing – or reading – she’s speaking at schools, libraries, and conferences. She divides her time between O’Fallon, MO, and Northport MI, along with her husband, Bob, and two dogs, Nemo and Sadie.

Literacy Activity
November 12 – Cats

“Picture books help students develop empathy.”(from Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide: Why Picture Books Belong in Our Classrooms by Marcie Colleen, 2013).

Owning a pet can be a wonderful way to introduce a child to the way of care, compassion, and empathy. The same can be said for reading books! Create a classroom library all about pets. And then, embark on an imaginary journey to the animal shelter and write a story about the pet you would choose and why.

Suggested reading:
Mr. Wuffles by Davis Wiesner
Little Beauty by Anthony Brown
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin and James Dean
Honda and Fabian by Peter McCarty
Fuddles by Frans Vischer

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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Why Picture Books Are Important by Todd Parr

by Dianne on November 11, 2016

BE WHO YOU ARE BOOK SEPTEMBER 2015

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.

The End.

Love, Todd

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About Todd Parr
bio-2015

Literacy Activity

November 11 – Peace

“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.

Suggested reading:
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!

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