Among the many genres of literature, picture books are often viewed as inferior. Sometimes, parents themselves discourage their children from reading picture books, with the reasoning that these books are too simple and cannot adequately stimulate their brilliant children. It is a common misconception that picture books offer no significant intellectual benefits.
But what exactly is a picture book?
A picture book is a book that combines words and pictures or contains pictures alone. Picture books are usually written for an audience of children (or beginner readers), but adults can enjoy a well-written picture book just as much as any young reader.
Picture books are a great starting point for new readers.
Typically, picture books have short, simple, and few words. This makes them a handy tool for teaching skills like phonemic awareness to beginner readers. Picture books are also great for enlarging the vocabulary of a child. Because most picture books are repetitive and contain lots of rhythm and rhyme, they are an effective channel for introducing new words.
Picture books teach comprehension.
When a child reads a picture book, he/she can connect the words to the pictures and understand that words convey meaning. The child, who is just learning to read, can understand that a mirror, the object that he/she has heard of or seen before, is written as ‘m-i-r-r-o-r’.
Learning to sequence is also much easier for children when the text is a picture book. By using the pictures as context clues, the reader can identify the events at the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Sequencing is a vital comprehension skill for all young readers to learn.
Picture books also encourage interaction. As you read a story to a child, ask them the following questions: what do you see on this page? By looking at this picture, what do you think is going to happen next in the story?
Lastly, picture books are colorful and enjoyable, and fun!
If, at the beginning of a child’s reading experience, they are introduced to books that they like, they will start to develop a positive attitude towards reading, and they will learn to read for pleasure. This is the goal, is it not?
The moral of the story is, picture books are not inferior. A well-written picture book can profit your child just as much as any chapter book. If you want to see it for yourself first, order a book or contact us for a high-quality, affordable, culturally relevant storybook.