These are 5 Reasons picture books are essential in our lives.
1.Excites their Senses
They can see the story painted, drawn, and written in stimulating ways that have the power to move them. They can hear and feel the rhythm of each word as it is read out loud. They can feel the crispness or softness of the pages as they are turned. They can inhale the incomparable smell of a new book. Yes, they can even have taste. Haven’t you ever seen a curious 1-year old gnawing on the corner of a board book? Or did your mouth water at the picture of that chocolate cake in “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”
2.Expands their World
They can learn about a world different than theirs. The world is becoming more diverse and more connected. Picture books can provide a gateway to different types of families, races, cultures, and people’s capabilities, hopes and beliefs. Books teach kids how other people live, why they believe what they do and how to be respectful and accepting of that. They can help a child not feel alone anymore. A book can shape who they are and humble them. Books can even create a connection with a stranger because they too read and loved the same book. They see that they are different, but the same in a beautiful way. Reading expands our minds and fosters tolerance and acceptance, which in turn generates a peaceful world.
3.Strengthens their own World
Parents who read with their children have a stronger bond. They create memories together. It opens a dialogue that they didn’t know they could have. Spending just 15 minutes a day can create a sense of security and routine that can build an emotionally stronger kid. Buying them a book can give themselves a sense of ownership and responsibility to protect their treasure. Sharing that book with others teaches them generosity and selflessness. They want to share the same gift you gave them.
4.Teaches them to Learn
We all learn a little differently. Many people are visual and tactile learners, which is why a picture books are so effective in teaching children. They are shown, not just told. When they see a new word, the picture can act as a context clue as to its meaning, or strengthen their understanding of it. Picture books are great for young kids who cannot read or only understand another language. They are not left out of the conversation because they “don’t get it.” It can make them feel smart and confident. They learn to form their own opinions and understanding. Picture books lead to a long life of reading. What we read and learn cannot be taken from us. Books teach us life lessons. How do we manage our emotions, how do we treat others, how do we bake cookies. Books have limitless teaching power.
5.Inspires Imagination and Creativity
Picture books are they first place children learn about art. They see how others interpret what they may see every day. Objects are sketched, painted, and colored in a number of ways. Children’s can replicate them or be inspired to draw their own images. They also learn the art of storytelling. They begin to process plot and character development without even knowing what that is. It can take one story to inspire a question. It takes one question to instigate an answer. It takes one answer to identify a solution to a problem. Books can inspire inventors, artists, writers, parents, children, diplomats and everyone in-between. Books may not make the world turn, but they make it turn more effectively and enjoyably. In the end they just make us happy.
November is Picture Book Month. Read. Share. Celebrate. Let us know why picture books are important to you.