Friday, October 22, 2010

Picture Book Fun!

The New York Times recently published a piece entitled "Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children" and instantly, librarians around the country cried shenanigans! Several rebuttals popped up (here for example) suggesting other reasons for lower publishing rates for picture books and expounding upon the important role those titles play.

While chapter books are fabulous for young readers, picture books can be enormously special for students of all ages, not just emerging readers. They introduce vocabulary, support connection-making skills with illustrations, build reader confidence and provide an element of comfort, like a worn-in sweater. At Cragmont, I wanted to show that the picture book is indeed applicable to any age so this week, I shared some of my favorites with the chapter-book-reading 4th and 5th grade classes. Hoots and hollers for more proved to me that the picture book still has lots of appeal!

We read:

Bark George by Jules Fieffer: I introduced this book saying that though I usually read this book to much younger ages, it has a twist that we can all appreciate it. Highly recommended, storytime favorite, especially the very last page!

Tadpole's Promise by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross: Previous knowledge of tadpoles and caterpillars is useful to appreciate this tale. Again, with a twist that left even teachers gasping and laughing, it was made to be read to young and old!
(I recommend that parents read it before sharing with their children, the tasty ending could be hard to swallow for more sensitive children, pun very much intended.)

As the holidays approach, please keep picture books in mind for all ages. Here are more titles with wide appeal!

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