9 Reasons Why Picture Books Are Important for Kids!
You all know how much I love picture books!
From a very early age, I can remember my mother and father bringing me to Hingham Public Library to choose a few books to check out and bring home. That was the highlight of my week! When my own daughters were young we enjoyed doing the same thing. Today as an author and illustrator I am still checking out picture books to read and admire what my fellow authors and illustrators are creating and the stories they are telling. Picture books are so wonderful. They are like little art galleries and stories all rolled into one! I hope you and the children in your life are able to enjoy this amazing and important journey in literature and art together. Here are just a few reasons why it is important for development and togetherness.
Picture books are part of children’s lives and most parents will start reading to their children from age 0. We all know that reading to children is good for their learning and development, but why are picture books so important?
1. Introduces children to reading
Picture books are usually the first books read to children, mostly because of the pictures! But also because the stories are short and easy to follow. By reading picture books to a child the adult is also showing them that reading is important.
2. Encourages conversation
The images in the book as well as the words start conversations and can encourage other activities such as counting, or colors. As you chat about the story during or after you can really engage the child in what was happening and improve their communication skills. Interestingly, research has shown that parents who talk to their children more have an advantage in school versa parents who talk less to their children.
3. Creates connection
Being read to by an adult creates a lovely connection between the reader and the child, often it can be a way to “break the ice” if they are meeting a new grownup. Parents and caregivers sitting together also create great memories and feelings of security.
4. Strengthens visual thinking skills
By connecting the images on the page with the words it helps children understand the words, as well as connecting them with meaning via the picture. In my books, I have also added the element of music and sound effects. You can download my song from the website and another great tool for experiencing picture books is with Novel Effect. They have my book and music on their free App.
You can check it out here: Novel Effect
5. Introduces Art
The illustrations aren't just decoration to the text. They enhance the story and emotions. The context encourages a child to go back to different pictures over and over, noticing new things, reading characters' emotions and interactions, possible secondary subplots that are told only in the pictures.
6. Helps children become better listeners
By sitting and listening to a story without talking (unless asked) they develop critical listening skills.
7. Learn new actions
A child sees the story character building a tower, baking, singing, dancing, or even just high fiving and wants to re-enact it to be the same as their favorite character, thus learning a new action/skill.
8. Introduces complex concepts in a safe environment
By using a story to talk about new or potentially distressing topics, like death, helps children process and understand the information better. Plus they can ask questions as they relate to the story and therefore themselves.
9. Builds vocabulary
Often picture books contain made up or silly words as well as long words that a child might not be able to read his/herself. Playing around with language helps children learn and build up their vocabulary.