Picture Books Matter

October 25th, 2012 by melissa g

As you can probably tell from the reviews we post on sweetonbooks.com, we are big fans of picture books. Not just for the youngest readers, but for kids of all ages. So, when I came across a recent article in The Guardian, “How Do Picture Books Make Toddlers Laugh?”, I had to click through! According to the article, “Toddlers respond to the simple pattern of the stories that have at their heart an entertaining and often gentle build-up and then an almighty “surprise!” It goes on to say that:

“…words are a kind of ‘language play’ which enables the child listener/ ‘looker’ – these books are designed on the assumption that an adult will be reading along – to anticipate and then relish the explosive humorous moment which is also captured in the illustrations. The most popular tools for authors creating this kind of ‘language play’ are rhyme and repetition, both of which engender laughs with the least effort while also providing the best platform for pre-speech participation, as the very youngest listeners can make matching sounds even if they can’t repeat the whole word.”

Well, there may be a variety of techniques to get our kids laughing, but one thing I know is that it’s working! Picture books continue to captivate my own kids and they are well beyond the target age group. Just this year, we read I Want My Hat Back, and we were all hysterical.

If you want to delve a little deeper into the meaning behind picture books, then you must check out the recently published, Show Me a Story: Why Picture Books Matter. It includes conversations with 21 of the “World’s Most Celebrated Illustrators”. Through interviews with Leonard S. Marcus, readers will discover why illustrators like Mo Willems, Rosemary Wells, and Peter Sis chose to dedicate themselves to picture books. Let’s keep this conversation going – please write to us, and tell us what your favorite picture books are and why you believe in picture books too!


Posted in Parenting & Reading


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