Why Picture Books Are Important by Holly Stone-Barker

by Dianne on November 26, 2015

House that Santa Built 383 X 500

Why Picture Books Are Important by Holly Stone-Barker
When thinking back to my early childhood, some of my fondest memories are of picture books like the Grown-Up Day by Jack Kent, Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman, and Magic Jim by Diane Redfield Massie.

While pondering why picture books are important, I pulled out tattered, torn and well-loved copies of my childhood books and reminisced about lying flat on my stomach on green shag carpet for hours soaking in every picture. Even though I was not a strong reader at that age, it didn’t matter because the pictures told me the story.

Recently, I asked my nine-year-old daughter why picture books are important to her. Her response was, “My favorite thing to do is to go on ‘picture walks.’ I sit on my bed and read picture books in my head or out loud. I love picture books.” It is insightful and delightful to know that she goes on “picture walks” before going to sleep. I can’t help but wonder what her favorite remembrance of a picture book from her childhood will be.

Picture books are timeless. They are as powerful today as they were generations ago. Picture books capture stories that make up the fabric of who we are as they are retold to the next generation. The combination of hearing the words spoken and seeing the vivid illustrations create powerful and deep memories that last a lifetime.

Holly in Witchy Hat at Barnes & Noble small

About Holly Stone-Barker
Holly graduated from Pratt Institute with a B.F.A. in Communication Design and works as a freelance illustrator. Holly currently has seven published picture books. Each illustration is uniquely different, but they all have the same distinct style and medium. Holly uses textured and hand-painted paper to create her designs. Whimsical illustrations bring words to life through the thoughtful use of color, texture, and design. In conjunction with illustrating, Holly has been an active member on the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge Artist Roster. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and love of art with children.

Literacy Activity
Nov 26 ~ Holidays

“Picture books not only tell a story of a culture or historical time, they also provide a visual into the world through illustrations.” (from the Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide: Why Picture Book Belong in Our Classrooms by Marcie Colleen, 2013).

Each year different holidays are observed around the world. Their traditions and cultures are as diverse as the people who celebrate them. Conduct research on holidays around the world to share. Maybe even find a way to celebrate in the Classrooms.

Suggested reading:

The House that Witchy Built by Dianne de Las Casas, illustrated by Holly Stone-Barker
Sharing the Bread by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Jill McElmurry
Dia de Los Muertos by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, illustrated by Carles Ballesteros
Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa by Donna L. Washington, illustrated by Shane W. Evans
Lailah’s Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story by Reem Faruqi, illustrated by Lea Lyon

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!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

:Donna November 29, 2015 at 1:27 pm

You had a shag carpet. I had a chair. Such fond memories 😀 And I can’t tell you how much I love your daughter’s term “picture walks”! SO perfect!!! Please thank her for that 🙂


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