Why Picture Books Are Important by Edna Cabcabin Moran

by Dianne on November 26, 2017

Why Picture Books Are Important by Edna Cabcabin Moran

The Power of Picture Books
(And Why They Are Important)

When I was a teenage aunty, I read Maurice Sendak’s iconic picture book Where The Wild Things Are to my young nephew. I marveled as images sprang from the pages as I read Sendak’s words aloud. I was transported from the comfy living room sofa to the rollicking, rumpus world of Max and the wild things. I was hooked on picture books from that day forward.

Being the daughter of a chef, I liken picture books to literary food in which we have collectively create and partake in an assortment of flavors—storybooks, board books, fiction, and nonfiction, fairytales, folktales, tall-tales, humorous, biographical, as well as, wordless, concept, and series books. We luxuriate in their physicality—the look and feel of their covers, the scent of glue from their bindings, and the splashes of color and delicious visuals rendered on their pages. The musicality of the words and the power and heart of the story are ingredients that whet our appetites.

We are treated to the flavor of emotions, transporting us out of everyday reality to somewhere special. Picture books give us a break from algorithm-tracking and from screens and devices. Whether we?re age 4 or 104, whether we’re alone or sharing with others, picture books satisfy our hunger for stories and help nurture our imaginations.

About Edna Cabcabin Moran
I’m an author/illustrator in Northern CA. My picture books include THE SLEEPING GIANT: A Tale From Kaua’i, CAN YOU CATCH A COQUI FROG? by Vera Arita and Patrick Landeza?s DANNY?S HAWAIIAN JOURNEY. I’m a contributing poet in the middle-grade anthology, AN EYEBALL IN MY GARDEN And Other Spine-Tingling Poems. I’ve a new book, HONU & MOA, that comes out in 2018.
Besides writing and painting, I love design, printmaking, dancing hula with Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu, hiking and traveling with my family.


Literacy Activity
Novemnber 26 – Turtles

“Picture books help 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)

Before reading a picture book about turtles, create a word web about them by asking students what they know about turtles. Introduce the book’s cover and get predictions from students about what the story is going to be. As you read along, go back to their predictions and validate the ones that match with the story. After reading aloud, list down new things or insights that students learned about turtles.

Suggested reading
Little Sea Turtle: Finger Puppet Book by Chronicle Books
Turtle, Turtle Watch Out! by April Pulley Sayre
One Tiny Turtle: Read and Wonder by Nicola Davis

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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