Why Picture Books Are Important by Gina Perry

by Dianne on November 25, 2017

Why Picture Books Are Important by Gina Perry

Simply put, picture books bring us together. Whether we are in classroom circles, on library floors, in rocking chairs, or tucked into bed. We are together. For much of our lives, reading is solitary. And I do love the solace of turning pages and losing myself to another world. However, this beautiful window of time exists in a child’s life where we enter the picture book world together. Our brains and hearts and bodies are together in something that you can literally put your finger on. We create a shared experience that is safe, and fun, and warm. We create choices for children, letting them pull whatever book they want from a shelf. We build pride and confidence in children, when they notice little details in the illustrations that we often miss. We share our silliness with children, when we put forth our best monster voice and shout, “Boo!”, “Bleeerrrggh!” and sometimes, “Burp!”. We connect with our children, when we put the book down and talk about how it made each of us feel. So open a picture book. Find one or many children. Get close, and begin. Together.

About Gina Perry

Once upon a time, I played with little metal cars in my rock-filled driveway. I listened to old-time mystery radio theater in my room and built yarn canopies between trees. I could never serve the volleyball in gym class but I could draw dragons that leapt off the page.

After 13 years of wearing plaid uniforms I went to art school. I graduated from Syracuse University, worked as a compositor in animation, and as an art director creating products for the scrapbooking market. My children inspire me every single day to be creative and do my best.

Today I write and illustrate books from my New Hampshire home, where trees are the tallest obstacles to the sea. I still like yarn, and table tennis is my (only) game.

Represented for books by Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary

Literacy Activity
November 25 – Cities

“Picture books provide excellent scenarios for word problems, using a plot line and characters that students know and relate to.”(from Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide: Why Picture Books Belong in Our Classrooms by Marcie Colleen, 2013)

Compare and contrast life in the city and in the country. What are present in the city that are not in the country. Ask students to put themselves in the shoes of the character of the picture book who lives in the city and the country. Have them write their own story of living in the city or in the country.

Suggested reading
The Gardener by Sarah Stewart
Weslandia by Paul Fleishman
Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato
The Promise by Nicola Davies

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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