Tuesday, October 12, 2010

NYTimes: "Pic Books No Longer a Staple for Children" -- hmmm

If you're on a children's writing board or online group, chances are you've heard the chatter about the recent article in the NYTimes about picture books. For those who haven't heard the buzz . . . here is the link.
http://www.nytimes. com/2010/ 10/08/us/ 08picture. html?src= me&ref=general

After you read it . . . come back and let us know our thoughts. As for me, I can't believe parents are bypassing picture books for their children. I'm not saying this because I write them. I write in all genres of children's lit so to me that's not my concern. What I'm worried about is the fact parents don't realize how important starting your child out reading picture books is important.

Yes, picture books have colorful illustrations and normally don't have a lot of text, but there is more to a picture book than that. Picture books are great tools to teach your child creative thinking, problem solving, concepts, and so much more. Before I even read the story to my children, I first have them look at the pictures and tell me what they think is happening in the story. I let them tell me the story they think we'll be reading from just looking at the pictures. After we've done that, I read the text and we find out if their were right or wrong about the storyline. We also talk about what is in each picture, where the beginning, middle, climax and end of the story is and why it is important to tell a story in this fashion.

There is more you can do with picture books and I'm sure you all have tools you use when reading them with your children. I would love to hear them.


  1. I think if you're going to give a 4 year old kid a book like Stuart Little, you need to read it to her yourself, and she needs to be ready to take that step. And, I think you need to be sure she's understanding what you're reading to her. Kids grow up quick enough as it is -- let them be kids and read PBs as long as they need to.

  2. So true. My 5 year old daughter has some early chapter books we read together and I read middle grade novels to both her and my son (14) as a family. But I would never expect my 5 year old to read Harry Potter or Stuart Little. Not to mention the conflicts in stories at that level are things she just starting to learn about or hasn't learned yet. Why rush your little darling out of their childhood. There's plenty of time for them to deal with situations you find in chapter books and novels.

    I agree let them be kids and enjoy a fun PB for as long as they can.