While many people think that picture books are for toddlers and then very young, this simply isn’t true. Picture books are a great tool for improving reading skills for children of all ages. Picture books encourage enthusiasm and engage young readers. Let’s look at some specific ways that picture books are a gateway to lifelong reading.
First of all, picture books are great for pre-readers. Children too young to read can still enjoy a picture book independently. Pictures are a great way for these pre-readers to gain inspiration and tell stories of their own. This first taste of storytelling and “reading” by describing pictures can be a powerful incentive for young children to want to learn to read and become storytellers through writing. It puts them in the driverís seat and gives them the opportunity to experience books on a person level for the first time. Let your child ìreadî you a story and watch their eyes light up and their confidence soar.
Even children too young to put together stories can enjoy picture books. They may enjoy pointing out familiar items, colors, and shapes found on the pages. Take the time to point things out to them, point out characters they may relate to or parts of the story that may be interesting to them. Older children can describe the pictures to you, and even guess what will happen next before you read each page. Another great game to play with your children is to read them a picture book without showing them the pictures and then going through at the end to discuss if what they saw in their head matched the authorís illustrations.
Picture books are also a great way to help children learn to create their own mental pictures when reading. This is a skill that greatly aids reading comprehension later in life. Children who struggle with reading comprehension or struggle to remain focused can greatly benefit from picture books. They may help them, to remain focused and to have a better understanding of the words they are reading. The shorter length of picture books can also make them seem less overwhelming to struggling readers.
Picture books are written on various subjects and in many reading levels. So dive in! Take your child to a book store or library and let them discover the beautiful world of picture books. Find a comfortable seat, a cozy blanket, and jump into the world of reading with them today! Let picture books begin a journey of lifelong reading for your children.