I love everything about picture books. The books themselves are short but they tell fully realized stories without using many words. The illustrations carry half the meaning, so all ages can figure out what the story’s about.
The words can be; colorful, noisy, irreverent, serious, silly, impertinent, sassy, wriguldy-wrag, cheeky, and just plain fun to say. FYI: Wriguldy-wrag is a real word meaning mischief.
Picture books introduce children to books before they can read. First, as a young child on a reader’s lap soaking up all the fun of the words and pictures. Second as a pretend reader, “reading” to a sibling or pet. At this stage, the illustrations act as a reminder for the words of the story and encourage visual thinking. Still later, when the actual written words start to make sense with the pictures, the children become real readers.
All you have to do to start children on the road to becoming a lifetime reader is start reading aloud to your kids, your grandkids, your nieces and nephews and any other kid you want to help. If we all do this, the world will be a more educated and tolerant place for all.
A not so secret confession: I love to read picture books out-loud in all the funny voices, even when I am all alone.
The books I’ve shown above are just a small selection of my favorites: The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers; Where the Wild things Are, written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak and A Splash of Red, by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet.